The National, Wednesday 10th April, 2013
By JACK AMI
PAPUA New Guinea utility basketballer Apia Muri, pictured, has attracted interest from the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) basketball team in Angeles City Pampanga, Philippines.
He is on trial with the AUF and could secure a spot in the team, with a long-term contract.
The lanky lad from Kerema returns to Papua New Guinea on May 6 to renew his visa.
Muri’s on a three-month stint playing in the Pampanga Mayors Cup, which has players from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCA), University Athletic of Philippines (UAAP) and former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) stars.
The youngster has teamed up with PNG team mate Charles Parapa, who lives in Manila. They play for the same team and won their first game in the Mayors Cup 92-90.
PNG men’s coach Boyet Daroya, who travelled to Manila last month, said Muri was settling down well in the tournament.
The tournament is hosted by the mayor of San Fernando, Pampanga province and features top collegiate basketball players.
“Some top coaches and scouts are involved, so this is a good exposure for to Apia and an opportunity to promote PNG basketball,” Daroya said.
Muri, who plays for Exodus in Port Moresby, was contracted by EU Construction managing director Ernani Bautista, a long-time resident of Port.
Joe Elavo of the Tamaraws was to have travelled to Manila with Muri but withdrew because of complications in processing his passport.
Muri said the standard of the game and officiating was tough.
He is doing extra training when there is no game to keep up with the pace and looking forward to securing a long-term contract there.
Parapa, who is playing off contract in the Commercial League, said in an email:
“I am already a graduate, 26-years-old and preparing for the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby PNG,”