30 Mar 2011

PNG netballers keen to improve on world ranking

10:42 am on 30 March 2011

Netball is currently undergoing a rebuilding phase in Papua New Guinea after a host of retirements at the end of last year's Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

The national team has slipped from 12th to 17th in the world rankings and the President of the PNG Netball Federation, Julienne Maliaki says it will be a new-look team that will eventually takes the court at the Pacific Netball Series in June.

That tournament, which also features Samoa, Fiji and the Cook Islands, will be played in Port Moresby and Maliaki says they intend to make their final squad selections at the end of April.

She says it's important, even in a rebuilding phase, to send the strongest team possible to such events as every ranking point is crucial.

"If you lose all games it affects your ranking on the world rankings system. You have all other regions that are vying for the top ten positions - the Africans are doing a lot of work in that and the Americas are really working overtime in that. We are very competitive, I think, amongst the four nations here. The Oceania region is one of the most competitive because the scorelines are very very close in those tournaments but at the end of the day a win's a win and a loss is a loss."