By JAMES APA GUMUNO
THE Coca-Cola Ipatas Cup is improving every year and this year more than 70 teams will take part in the competition.
According to the competition’s technical director John Passingan yesterday 60 teams from the Highlands and 10 teams from Momase were confirmed to participate in the cup challenge.
Passingan, after touring the Highlands over the last two weeks and talking to the teams officials and provincial coordinators said the closing date for team registrations would be Feb 16 adding that it was likely more teams would join.
“60 teams are confirmed to take part in this year’s Ipatas Cup. Mendi has 10, Wabag 12, Hagen 16, Goroka 12 and Simbu 10,” Passingan said.
He said Lae would field four teams while Madang, Ramu, Yonki and Kainantu will have one each.
Passingan said several teams had already paid their affiliation fees of K500 into the Coca Cola Ipatas account with ANZ bank.
He said other teams who made part payments or are yet to make full payments are urged to do so by next week.
“Those who haven’t paid will miss out and their names would not be on the draws that will be out by the end of next week.
“It’s not late for interested teams to see their provincial coordinators and register.”
The Ipatas Cup coordinators for the Highlands region and Lae are Sam Timson (Lae), Thomas Kungi (Goroka), Thomas Daug (Simbu), Cedric Kenge (Mendi) and Charlie Akato (Enga).
Preparations are well underway and the competition will kick off in Lae on Feb 26 for the Momase teams.
From March 5-7 all Eastern Highlands teams will play each other at Sir Danny Leahy oval followed by Simbu and Western highlands at the Kagamuga show ground from March 12-14.
Passingan said all teams from Enga and Southern Highlands will play at Johnson Siki oval in Wabag on March 19-21.
He said that four winners from each centre, a total of 16 teams, will play the finals in Lae from March 26-28.
The grandfinal will be played in Wabag at a date yet to be set by the patron of the competition, Governor Peter Ipatas, and his chief executive officer Timothy Lepa.
He said prize money totaling K50,000 cash is up for grabs this year.