Pepes off to WC qualifiers


NETBALL Papua New Guinea’s national squad, the Pepes, fly out of Port Moresby over the weekend to compete Wednesday’s Oceania regional qualifying tournament in Auckland, New Zealand.
The national federation which had been struggling to garner adequate corporate support last month were fortunate to have insurance provider Tower Insurance cover the team at the April 17-22 World Cup qualifier while rice supplier Trukai Industries also chipped in with K100,000 last week enabling the team to leave PNG’s shores confident they will do well at the four-nation event.
Chair of the Netball PNG Julienne Leka-Maliaki said the sponsorship from Trukai Industries could not come at a better time.
“This sponsorship has come at a very crucial time and we are very grateful to the management of Trukai for coming to the rescue of the Pepes,” she said.
The Oceania Netball Federation-run tournament will feature Samoa, Fiji, Cook Islands and PNG with the top two finishers earning a berth at next year’s netball World Cup in Liverpool, England.
The Pepes enter the tournament with good recent form having won the gold at Pacific Mini Games last December in Port Vila, Vanuatu, that involved the three other nations.
PNG Pepes: Shooters – Jeperth Tulapi, Rayleen Andrew, Boio Peter, Tiata Baldwin-Ovia; Centre court – Jacklyn Lahari, Neritha Adula, Mayleen Nona, Mary-Ellen Bonser; Defenders – Hana Barretto, Nancy Beaso, Serena Ovia, Julie-Anne Diro.

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