IN front of a very vocal crowd at the Murray Barracks basketball courts yesterday, the clash between Western province and NCD was a show of skill when the towering players of both teams exchanged lay-ups and slam-dunks to entertain the crowd.
All hopes were high when the Western men grabbed the early momentum, however, team NCD took the lead at the break and finished off with a comfortable 64-46 win.
Despite efforts from Team Western with experienced leadership from player/coach and PNG basketball legend Baxter Travertz, the capital men were too good.
Team Western’s impressive scoring guard Steven Kila displayed tremendous skill weaving through the towering NCD players and scoring the most points for his team.
However, the Westerners could not sustain NCD’s talent and experienc which included tactician Apia Muri, who contributed 19 points to his team’s win.
In other matches, the reigning women’s champions Team Southern Highlands also taught New Ireland a lesson with a 45-18 thrashing with maestro Naomi Yambi maintaining her explosive form in the centres since day one.
Basketball also rolled on with a good start for some teams yesterday with Madang and NCD leading their pools comfortably in both the men’s and women’s divisions.
Madang and NCD will be the likely gold contenders in the quarter finals scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, however, gold is still in reach for the other provinces as well.
Leaders of the other women’s divisions include Southern Highlands and Eastern Highlands provinces, who are also leading pools two and three respectively while in the men’s division Morobe is leading pool one while Western Highlands is leading in pool three.