By BURI GABI
A SENIOR member of the PNG men’s basketball squad has refuted claims raised by PNG Basketball Federation vice-president Timothy Lepa that the recent trip by the Telikom Papuan Blacks to Cairns for the All Stars Far North Queensland was not sanctioned by the BFPNG.
PNG representative Lawrence Lahari said in an email that the BFPNG executives Ben Davis, Timothy Lepa and their executives, including the current National Basketball development officer Ronnie Mea were aware of the initiative since 2007 at the meeting in Ramu.
Lahari said Lepa was so interested in joining the team last year, but failed due to visa complications – a late visa application.
The matter was also highlighted to the FIBA Oceania team at their last visit.
“Let us not bow down to any one who has a wrong motive in this voluntary product we initiated for the benefit of the sport and country.
“All the federation needs to do is get their house in order and either assist or take such programmes head-on rather than sit back on their laurels and cry foul,” Lahari said.
The federation had sanctioned the Papuan Blacks and it had been an ongoing trip for the last four years.
“I am surprised that Lepa has gone to the media. Why did it take him four years?”
“And if he has basketball in his heart then he should just leave other sporting codes for someone else to run,” Lahari said.
The federation had been stagnant for a couple of years now but this had not stopped the programme from going on,” he added.