Flames challenged to step up as PMBL season nears


PNG Men’s Basketball League (PMBL) champions Southern Flames have been challenged to shape up or ship out as they prepare for their title defence this season.
The team will be out to win their fifth consecutive title.
Franchise owner and team manager Vonnie Kapi Natto, pictured, issued the challenge at their training base at the Taurama Aquatic Indoor Complex in Port Moresby recently.
The challenge came as she welcomed two new players – Gary Holmes and Emmanuel Parapa – for this season.
Parapa joins elder brother Charles, who is the captain and assistant coach.
Kapi Natto said Parapa and Holmes had adjusted well and were looking forward to the season.
She described their inclusion as a boost for the team’s campaign as they embark on their title defence against the likes of the Tamaraws and Saints.
Kapi Natto said the Flames had retained the bulk of their squad, including Apia, Purari, Cornie and Obert Muri, Moses Lune and Charles Parapa.
Utility player Gabriel Elavo joins former club Tamaraws.
“We have respected his decision, and thank him for his services last season,” she said.
Kapi Natto said she was expecting a tough season, with PMBL players battling to impress national selectors ahead of next year’s Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa.

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