Moni Plus, Flames to renew rivalry


Moni Plus and Kutubu Security Services Southern Flames will renew their rivalry when they do battle in the Papua New Guinea Men’s Basketball League preseason grand final this week.
Moni Plus and Flames have met four times since 2014, with both teams displaying thrilling basketball in each encounter.
In what was a strong start to the preseason, Moni Plus beat a young Exodus outfit 120-74 – a scoreline that should warn rivals that the Ferdinand Daroa-coached side mean business.
Flames forfeited Chariots after the players didn’t turn up at the playoffs last Saturday night.
Held at the Taurama Aquatic Centre, the playoffs were attended by a packed crowd who cheered as the first game tipped off between Moni Plus and Exodus.
Exodus’ young point guard Dougie Pirika was in explosive form, however, Moni Plus’ height advantage and experience gave them the upper hand in all four quarters.
Moni Plus’ accurate shooting from starting guard Michael Nao and Michael Henry was also another factor that doused any hope of a comeback.
Daroa’s charges won the first quarter 24-17, the second 28-18, the third 42-14 and the final 26-25 despite Exodus improving late.
Moni Plus never looked like losing from the start, with Mark Palisoc, Robert Kave and James Banduru Jr leading the offence and defence.
Meanwhile League commissioner Erick Elai said his match officials were disappointed that Chariots did not turn up on game day.
“Saints finished fifth and if Chariots were not going to make it, they should have advised us, so we can just forfeit their placing and have Saints in the playoffs,” Elai said.
“This is not good and we want an explanation from Chariots for not turning up,” Elai said.
Elai said referees’ director Sleeve Mohu would confirm the date and time for the grand final showdown.

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