Basketball BY KEVIN TEME The National Souths Basketball League has kept the spirit of basketball alive in PNG. Former PNG National train-on squad member Colin Pine (pictured) said when making his intentions known that he will be leading Kaputa Souths, a Kutubu-based team to Port Moresby later in the year when the tournament kicks off. Pine, who later called it quits before leaving for Kutubu said, the announcement for the 17th Mineral Resources Development Company National Souths Basketball League Championships by its executives was good news for fans throughout the country. Pine was the provincial basketball representative for Mt Hagen, representing Western Highlands Province in major PNG Basketball Federation sanctioned tournaments. He was then named in the train-on squad in 2013 and since then he has been participating in the off-season competition. Pine, who is also one of the founding players of the Kutubu Security Services Southern Flames, the undefeated PNG Premier Men’s Basketball League champions, said the NSBL is the only off- season competition that unites all rural and urban areas. “Through the NSBL, the untapped hidden talents from the rural and urban areas as well as the city are being given the opportunity to showcase their talents and skills,” Pine said. He added that the NSBL for the past 10 years has kept basketball alive in PNG and it was the best competition in the country from any other sanctioned BFPNG tournaments. “All in all, the NSBL gives opportunity to a lot of young people around the country to showcase their hidden talents and skills so the Basketball Federation of PNG can recognise these hidden talents,” Pine said.