By BURI GABI
TEAM NCD dominated the 4th PNG Games in the volleyball competition that saw both the men and women’s teams collecting gold medals in the finals last Friday night at the Sir John Guise Stadium indoor complex.
In the women’s gold medal playoffs, defending gold medallists from 2007 PNG Games, Team Central went down miserably to city ladies 3-1 while East New Britain collected the bronze medal after defeating Oro 3-0.
The guys from Autonomous Region of Bougainville claimed the bronze in the men’s category after convincingly winning 3-0.
But, it was a different story in the gold medal playoffs for the men’s category, when two top teams in the competition throughout the week battled neck-to-neck in front of very vocal supporters.
Veteran campaigner Philip Nalang and Titus David led their team from Morobe with the inclusion of their firing young spikers threw everything at the hosts taking out the first set 25-23.
NCD regrouped in the second set, much more determined not to give the match away to the visitors.
They polished up the patchy areas to level the sets 1-1 after wining 25-21.
Lae were much polished side in the third set, following their game pattern and making the city guys look very ordinary and smashed them all over the park, as Nalang came up with his spiking specials to the cheering Morobe supporters.
NCD captain Loi Walo told his men not be impatient and concentrate on the game.
“I told my boys to get back to the basics and never say die and that is what we exactly did,” Walo said.
They were much more focused this time despite Morobe players coming up with their spikes making NCD put in the extra effort to stop their opponents.
But, the city boys managed to scrape through and win the fourth set 25-23 in a nailbiting finish.
It was all looking good for the Morobeans dominated as they seem to look good in the early part of the finals segment and ran away for an early 8-5 lead.
But, it was a very different story altogether as Walo started to stamp in his new found spiking form.
“The never-say-die attitude saw us come back grab the gold medal. Credit should go to my boys for controlling the game when it mattered the most.
“We came back and won the final set 15-12, as my boys played a much more controlled game in the end,” Walo said.