The PNG U18 Women’s Basketball Team arrived in the country today to a warm welcome by families and the basketball fraternity at the Jacksons International Airport.
Despite some setbacks in Fiji during the FIBA U18 Women’s Oceania Championship, last week, these young women did not return home empty-handed.
After stretching out their performance and playing against tougher opponents like New Zealand and Australia, this team of twelve settled for the 7th placing on the ladder, just ahead of Guam.
Though they did not return home empty handed, as they managed to secure bronze with a 70 – 52 win against Guam.
A satisfied Coach, Mary Elavo, said heading into round robin matches was tough for the team, but they fought back later in the finals, and that secured them the bronze.
Elavo herself, a first time international team coach, and a very young one at that, said it was rewarding to receive Bronze. She added that the way forward for the team now is to better their performance in their international meets.
She also recognizes that quality training is paramount.
Adding extra flare to the team as well were sisters, Norma Lisa and Bethina Dobunaba, who are also the only pair that represented the country previously.
While speaking to EMTV Sports, the more vocal of the two, and Captain, Norma Lisa, said she is satisfied, since her team went there, gave their best, and brought back bronze.
And she admits, having her sister with her in the same team completed her on-court performance.
While the women’s team rests over during the festive season, the U18 Men’s team will leave this Friday for Cairns, to play in several friendlies, in order to gain more international exposure.