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Papua New Guinea pairs ready for Continental Cup challenge

Papua New Guinea's two tandems are likely to face the likes of Australia's Christopher McHugh (receiving) and Joshua Slack at the AVC Beach Volleyball Continental Cup zonal tournament in New Zealand later this month
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, February 1, 2012 – Some of Papua New Guinea’s top men’s volleyball players will exchange their usual indoor court setting to the sands of New Zealand from February 16 to 19 as they step out at the AVC Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Oceania zonal tournament.

The side will be taking on the hosts as well as Australia, Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu and will be on the hunt for one of two spots to the finals, where a berth to the London 2012 Olympic Games will be at stake.

The team features 2011 Pacific Games duo Moha Mea and Manly Kapa, while Ravu Mahuru and Gerea Kila will pair up as well.

Ake Walo, who shone for club side Tatana Araira in last November’s National Volleyball Championships, is standing by as a replacement player.

Walo will also team up with Mea on the Mt Maunganui stage of the New Zealand National Beach Volleyball Circuit from February 10 to 12.

“Our men have been training intensively under coach Kila Dick for the past two weeks,” PNG Volleyball Federation President Turaho Morea said in an interview with newspaper The National. “All are elite indoor volleyball players so the focus of the training program has been on transition from indoor to beach, which is very much the same but differs in certain rules; the most obvious being the playing surface and number of players.

“The contingent, which includes five players and two officials, will depart for Auckland on next Wednesday.”

Papua New Guinea qualified for the zonal phase after holding off Guam and hosts North Marianas in Saipan last March.

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