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NC2015 Match Report: Papua New Guinea Vs Sg Invitational

Papua New Guinea began the fourth day of the Nations Cup in a fiercely contested first quarter against the Singapore invitational team. 

Led by their captain Lua Rikis, the team of seven complemented each other’s positions on court, enabling them to take an early lead against the Singapore invitational team. In particular, the effective partnership between veteran captain Rikis and 17-year-old Shooter Jeperth Tulapi gave them the edge as they gave their team the 13-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. 
Despite substituting the bulk of the team for the second quarter, Papua New Guinea continued to go blow for blow against their opponents with the former steering the score in their favour with 22-21. A mix of sublime passes and swift interceptions by team mate Tau Galewa helped Papua New Guinea inch towards the odd-goal lead at the halfway mark. 
In a twist of fate however, the third quarter of the match saw the Singapore invitational team scoring an impressive four consecutive goals within the first five minutes, as they seemed to have been jolted awake during the break. As done thrice before, Papua New Guinea rebounded, as they equalized the score for the quarter at 7-7 in the final few minutes. 
The final quarter saw the intensity go up a notch between both teams, much to the loud cheering from the spectator stands. With a difference of only one goal up in the concluding minutes, it was Papua New Guinea’s Goal Shooter Herronie Daera who showcased her splendid shooting prowess under pressure; helped by captain Lua Rikis’s impressive passes. Papua New Guinea took the match 37-36 in the dying seconds.

Highlights
• The game’s top scorer was Singapore’s invitational team Yu Mei Ling, who scored 19 during the match
• Papua New Guinea’s top scorer was Herronie Daera, who finished the match with a 83% shooting record scoring 15 out of 18. Overall, Papua New Guinea had a shooting record of 79% while Singapore finished the game with a shooting record of 69%. 
• Jerperth Tulapi made her first start of the tournament 
• Papua New Guinea, won the match against the Singapore invitational team in the closing seconds with 37-36.

Score
Papua New Guinea vs Singapore Invitational
Q1: 13 – 9
Q2: 22 – 21 (9 – 12)
Q3: 29 – 28 (7 – 7)
Q4: 37 – 36 (8 – 8) 

Quote from Coaches 

Unaisi Rokoura, Papua New Guinea Head Coach
Even though this wasn’t a ranking game, we had a game plan and we wanted to go out there and try a few things before the game against Ireland on Friday. 
Our girls threw away a lot of possession which we shouldn’t have. It’s about consistency, but we weren’t consistent enough throughout. We wanted to play a straightforward match but we ended up chasing. At this level we shouldn’t be chasing the ball. 
It’s not the game that we wanted, even though it was a win, we should have done way, way better. At the end of the day it’s about team effort as well, and if we put ourselves in the situation, we must make sure we find a way out of it. 
Ever since the first game it’s been like that, we will come from behind, but I’m happy we got some of the young girls, our GS got to play today, giving her the experience and a feel of the intensity at this level. 
Overall we still need to work on a lot of things, especially in training tomorrow. Even though it’s an off day we will have training to fix some things before Northern Ireland on Friday. 
We came here on a mission, we didn’t do well last year, and we finished fifth. This year we prepared really well for the pacific games, and made sure we continued throughout, we are here in the Nations Cup to make amends, we are not here by fluke, we worked hard, and Ireland tomorrow and on Saturday, we’ll achieve our goal which is to reach the finals.

Jean Ng, Singapore Assistant Coach
I think the team put up a really good show; they worked hard and demonstrated a lot of spirit. The team has also started to game plan and we were really happy as that’s what we had hoped for them to do. They were very disciplined and giving it a go, so I thought it was really nice and encouraging, and this showed in their results. 
Today the team had also lifted themselves so they were very focused on what they had to do and you could see it in the way the game plan was executed. The team demonstrated a lot more smarter play of court and you could see it in the way they were opening up the court.

Quote from Player 
Natalie Long, Singapore Invitational Player 
I thought it’d be a really difficult game as we have seen how Papua New Guinea played before and they are definitely one of the strong contenders to look out for in this Nations Cup. But we decided to do our best and see where our efforts can take us. Nonetheless, it was quite last minute when we were put together due to Namibia’s sudden withdrawal from the Cup. I think if we were given more time, we can definitely work on our tact movements better.