By BURI GABI
A MODIFIED version of the basketball competition will start on Sunday at the Ela Beach basketball courts in Port Moresby.
The three-on-three challenge will be held to identify potential talents for future events.
The funds raised from the event will also help the PNG Basketball Federation support any national and international events sanctioned by the national basketball body and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
PNG basketball representative player Lawrence Lahari is organising the competition which will run for three weekends.
Lahari said invitation was now open for teams intending to participate in the challenge.
“Basically, funds raised will go towards the development of PNG basketball with the aim of bettering our placing in the Pacific region at the Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia, in 2011.
“The ultimate goal is to retain our No. 1 ranking when PNG host the Pacific Games in 2015,” Lahari said.
According to 2005 ranking, PNG are currently on fifth spot and Lahari is hopeful they would improve that ranking by 2015.
The federation is planning to send the development team to Cairns during the Australia Day celebrations next year.
He also said that PNG and Cairns had forged a good relationship four years ago to enable the men’s and women’s teams compete against sides in Australia.
Lahari said they were planning to send the men’s squad for the Cairns competition as part of the Australia Day celebration.
There are plans for the women to travel the following year.