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Final chance to impress for Papua New Guinea's FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup hopefuls

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea's premier basketball players will be in action this weekend when the Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea (BFPNG) hosts its final selection camp for the FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup 2017.

Following a rigorous three days of training, the squads will be reduced to just 12 players who will represent PNG at the first-ever Melanesia zone competition.

Training camp commences on Friday afternoon at the Taurama Aquatic & Indoor Centre and will conclude at noon on Sunday. During that time, each male and female squad will undertake five on-court sessions of intense training and physical testing.

BFPNG Chief Executive Officer and Men's PNG national team head coach Joel Khalu said the camp gives all squad members a final chance to impress selectors.

"It's fantastic that we're able to bring all national squad members together for this camp and we're very grateful to the PNG Olympic Committee for helping assist us in making it happen," Khalu said. "Over the past six weeks, squad members have been undertaking training in Port Moresby, Lae and overseas. Now we can bring all of those athletes together in a competitive, team-building environment.

"We have 23 men's squad members vying for one of the final 12 positions and on the women's front, there are 18 players all trying to make the same cut. With so much talent on deck, it’s going to be an extremely difficult task for our national selection panel.

"The positive side though, is that we've got some of the finest basketball players the country has ever produced and the two teams that hit the floor at the FIBA Melanesia Cup in a month's time could have the potential to be really special."

Final PNG men's and women's national teams will be announced in the last week of August.