The National, Tuesday, May 10, 2011
By HENRY MORABANG
TEAM NCD management is impressed with the overall performance of the teams after the past two days of competition at the 2011 Arafura Games in Darwin.
Speaking from Darwin, Team NCD general manager Numa Alu said there had been a remarkable improvement in men’s basketball compared with to the last games.
In the men’s opening match, Team NCD went down 68-65 in a thrilling encounter against Torres Strait led by Cairns Marlins stand-out Conrad Ahwang, Pilot Jacob, Ryan Cetinich, George Kailou and Michael Paiwan who won the gold in 2009 minus Deba George of Cairns Taipan.
Team NCD were leading with seven points in the early stages courtesy of three three-point shots from guard Sibona Kala. The Islanders caught up in the second quarter to take over the lead 37-25.
Torres Strait extended their lead in the 3rd quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Team NCD stepped up their defence and slowly cut a 16-point deficit down to three points with only 5.4 seconds on the clock.
Team NCD coach Boyet Daroya called for his last time out and drew up a plan. The plan was well-executed and if Kala scored a three-pointer it could have level the scores on the buzzer.
Unfortunately, he missed and Team PNG lost 68-65. Conrad Ahwang top-scored for the Islanders with 29 points while Kala led Team NCD with 17 points followed by Wally Parapa 12 and Dia Muri 11.
In the second match, Northern Territory beat Team NCD 66-48 and PNG played Macau yesterday afternoon. (scores were not available for print)
In men’s volleyball, Team NCD started on a wrong footing losing to Macau 4-1 (25-22, 18-25, 19-25, 21-25) but bounced back to beat Northern Territory 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-13) on Sunday.
Yesterday, Team NCD beat South Australia 3-2.
Team VAVA playing under the banner of PNG are set to defend their title after notching up three easy wins.
In the opening match on Sunday, they beat Australia Defence 3-0 (25-13, 25-22, 25-15). They continued their good form against the South Australia 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-18) and posted another 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 21).