Squads flies for PNG today
By Taromane Martin
BANK South Pacific (BSP) yesterday donated water bottles and bags to the Solomon Islands national basketball teams for the FIBA 2017 Melanesia Basketball Cup.
BSP representatives, Mrs Joyce Nukumana and Mes Laurisha Pio made the hand over to the men’s and women’s national teams who will leave the country today for the competition in PNG.
“On behalf of the bank we are proud and happy to donate the water bottles and bags for the squads,” Mrs Nukumana said.
“We wish you all the best and believe you will make the country proud at the competition. All the best and be the country’s’ ambassadors of which you are already,” she said.
The FIBA Melanesian Basketball Cup will serve as qualifications for the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa.
Solomon Islands will compete against Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Caledonia for a spot at the Pacific Games.
The top three teams from the Melanesia Basketball Cup will get qualification to represent Melanesia at the 2019 Pacific Games.
SIBF President Mr Brian Pongatapu urged the players to do their utter best at the competition reminding them to enjoy themselves but reminder what is at stake.
“This is the start of the road for the 2019 Pacific Games. I want to urge everyone to play, enjoy yourselves but remember what is at stake and that is qualification for the 2019 Games,” he said.
“I would like to thank the national coaches Brendan Beak and Eric Malcolm for your patience and heart for the team, and also to the government and sponsors for your assistance towards the squads,” the president adds.
The Solomon Islands Basketball Federation (SIBF) 40 man delegation that includes players and officials for the competition will arrive today afternoon; get settled before their first matches on Wednesday.
The Solomon Islands men’s basketball squad will take on Papua New Guinea in their opening match on Wednesday while the women’s team will take on New Caledonia.
The men’s will meet Fiji on Thursday while the women’s squad will also take on Fiji in their second match.
The final group matches will take place on Friday with Solomon Islands taking on New Caledonia men’s team while the women’s will play host nations’ Papua New Guinea.