HOMEBOYS Sekaia Naibili and Laqere Netava were crowned as the new Master Pairs champions at the Vatukoula Bowling Club yesterday.
Naibili and Netava upset national reps Semesa Naiseruvati and David Aitcheson 18-14 in the final of the Trans Diesel and Vatukoula Gold Mines Limited-sponsored event. It was a tough road for the new winners after they lost their opening match to Samuela Tui and Jona Koroitamana 16-19 on Saturday.
In the semi-final, Naibili and Netava upset another formidable pair of Arun Kumar and Munesh Kumar 20-19. They won after extra ends had to be played as both teams were tied after the mandatory 18 ends.
Naibili was over the moon after the victory. He said beating the national reps was an added bonus.
"It felt as if I was the national rep when we were playing Semesa and David," an elated Naibili said.
"This is my first Masters title. I have been playing for six years but this is my first major win. I was introduced to the sport by Caucau Turagabeci.
"I won the western pennants in 2007. Last year in the Master Pairs I teamed up with Caucau but we lost in the quarter-final.
"This win means a lot. Caucau was on our side during the semi-final and final. This win is for the whole of the Vatukoula Gold Mining community and the management of the company.
Both Naibili and Netava work as machine operators at the VGML.
Tournament co-ordinator Semesa Lewai said the two-day event was a success. He said Keith Temlow of Trans Diesel witnessed the tournament. The winners received $600 while the runners-up got $400.