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Papua New Guinea

Moni Plus aim for upset against PMBL champs

BASKETBALL: Moni Plus head coach Boyet Daroya must play his card right before meeting KSS Southern Flames, the reigning champions of the PNG Premier Men’s Basketball League tonight in the second series grand final match.
The first game of the best of three series grand final match was won by Flames 92-78.
The first game which was held on Monday evening at the Taurama Aquatic Center in Port Moresby where it went right down to the wire.
Both teams were equal to the task with their respective big guns returning from National All Stars Championship duties but it was Moni Plus head coach that made crucial changes in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter that gave the victory to Flames.
Flames led 22-15 in the first quarter when Daroya reorganized his troops which paid dividends leading 19-17 in the second quarter before a hard working Flames took the lead by three points in the third quarter 28-25.
“I certainly thought it was any body’s game when I could see Moni Plus catching up closely but let it go in the last quarter,” said games commissioner Erick Elai.
Moni Plus sharpshooter Gabriel Elavo also admitted that the last five minutes was the big let down when Flames ran away with it.
Many supporters who packed the stadium also shared the same sentiment saying that Moni Plus coach needs to be careful with his interchange which had cost the team dearly.
It has been Moni Plus and Flames affair consecutively for the last five years since Flames got into the competition in 2014.
With two more games remaining in the series, Moni Plus must now step up to bring down the Flames who have been dominating since the start of the season.
Much is at stake for tonight’s match will be the second game and the decider for Moni Plus. Flames have won and will go in as favorite once more but that will come at a price as Moni Plus after learning from the mistake will regroup to give the Moi Muri coached side a good run for their money.
Both Muri and Daroya are national selectors and coach for the national teams and this will see either side has played their card right to ensure their respective side comes on top.
“If Flames win tonight, then they wrap up the series to be declared champion for the 2018 season otherwise they go to the decider on Thursday evening if Moni Plus wins,” Elai said.

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