U17s set for Fiba c’ships


THE national men and women’s teams are primed for the Fiba Under-17 Oceania Championships in Noumea, New Caledonia.
Both teams, who leave for Noumea tomorrow, are pooled (B)with the Cook Islands, Tahiti and the hosts. Australia, New Zealand, Guam and Samoa make up Pool A.
Australian-based players Magdalene Javapro (women), Paitien Smare and Ethan Tsiamalili (men), and coach Tubs O’Riley join the teams on their leg to Noumea.
Majority of the players were selected from last year’s Fiba U15 Oceania Championships in Port Moresby.
Both teams play Tahiti on Monday, the Cook Islands on Tuesday and the hosts on Wednesday.
The qualifying finals and placing playoffs will be played on Aug 22 before the semifinals a day after. The finals will be played on Aug 24, culminating with the medal presentation.
Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea (BFPNG) chief executive Stephen Damien said: “Our preparations are good with both teams looking to put in solid performances.
“Before the tournament begins, the teams will have some lead-up matches with some schools there.
“We had lead-up matches with some PNG Men’s Basketball League sides while the women played the national side who competed at Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa, last month.”
He said the teams’ Daru, Alotau and Lae players would join them in Port Moresby before heading to New Caledonia.
BFPNG president Nick Daroa said it cost about K140,000 to cover the expenses of both teams.
“We levied the players K1,000 each and BFPNG put K100,000 but we were still short so we had no choice but to drop players.
“We were unable to secure any sponsorship from the corporate sector and government agencies which is disappointing.”

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