Huawei Saints are set for a good season after its impressive preseason show against the defending champions the Kutubu Security Service Southern Flames in the PNG Premier Men’s Basketball League competition on Wednesday night this week.
Despite Saints going down 75-59, Saints put the defending champion into tough waters before the champions rescued themselves in the third and final quarter to win.
Saints came in all fired up to take an early 16-11 lead in the first quarter and improved on to lead by four baskets at half time, 36-29.
It was a good tactic by their head coach and former player maker Lawrence Lahari who started off his starting five with point guard Augustine Kaupa, Daniel Aila, Ant Ferguson, Donald Kala and Mika Loko while Flames started off with Moses Lune, Cornelius Muri, Garry Holmes Suve, Obert Muri and Moses Kairi but could not contain the fast finishing Saints who came out with all guns blazing.
Saints in fact had a top performance in the first two quarters with good communication and great team work that saw them running away with nine points against the champion team in the first half however with star player maker Ant Ferguson leaving the team because of injury on his legs muscles, the tide changed as there were no ball control and Flames putting a full court defensive press quickly caught up with score line through the inclusion of Charles Parapa, Moses Lune, Purari Muri and Cornelius Muri winning the third quarter 21-11 and finally wrapping up the final quarter 23-12.
However most of the Saints players and coaching staff were happy with their boys’ performance on the night despite not having some of its regular players like Sibona Kala.
Saints is certainly picking up its form again in tomorrow night’s match against last year’s runner up team, Moni Plus for another double header preseason matches to be played at the Taurama Aquatic Center.
Moni Plus beat PNG Propest Chariots 85-45 on Wednesday and this match against the Lawrence Lahari coached Saints will be another tough battle as they look forward to finalizing their season’s playing roster for the 2019 PMBL season.
The final game in tomorrow night’s match will be Exodus up against Flames while Chariots are on bye.
Picture caption: Saints Donald Kala tries to dribble past KSS Southern Flames Gary Holmes Suve and his team mate during the PMBL preseason match held at the Taurama Aquatic Center on Wednesday. Picture by KEVIN TEME