Victories for Thailand, Philippines, India and Maldives on the fourth day of the competition
SINGAPORE, 4 September 2018 – Top contenders Malaysia and Sri Lanka further asserted their M1 Asian Netball Championships title credentials today when they took the win against Hong Kong and Singapore respectively.
Brunei vs. Thailand
The second round of the M1 Asian Netball Championships commenced with a convincing Thai victory of 30 goals over Brunei. Both nations were deadlocked at 13-13 in the first quarter before Thailand pulled ahead with strong through-court play and an impressive 93% shooting conversion rate for a final score of 66-33.
Thailand’s coach Chng Li Li said of her team’s play today: “We started very messy and managed to settle down a bit and be more composed. We have some new players coming into the team so it’s a building phase for us, but overall I’m quite happy.”
Philippines vs. Pakistan
Philippines earned their first win of the M1 Asian Netball Championships with a 62-36victory over Pakistan. It was a consistent performance throughout the four quarters from the Philippines, as they lead Pakistan throughout with an 84% shooting conversion rate and a fast short pass game strategy.
With a win on their scorecard, Philippines' captain Ana Thea Cenarosa is ready for their next match up, commenting: "Maldives is our biggest competitor in our group and we will definitely play our own game and give it our all against them."
India vs. Japan
A dominant final quarter effort from Japan wasn't enough to be triumphant over India, who out performed Japan for the first three quarters to ultimately claim the 65-57 win to meet Thailand in their next game.
Noting areas for improvement, India's vice-captain, Ranjitha Badenahalli Jagadeesh reflected after the game: "We lost our stamina in the last quarter so we scored and moved less. For our next few games, we will have to work on our stamina and play our game confidently."
Maldives vs. Chinese Taipei
Maldives and Chinese Taipei went head-to-head with the youngest team in the competition finding it just too tough on the day to prevent Maldives earning their first win 73-10. Chinese Taipei scored an average of 2 goals per quarter while the more experienced Maldives team averaging 18 goals per quarter, culminating in a shooting percentage of 84%.
Captain of Maldives, Eemaa Abdul Sattar said: "I think our experience helped a lot but we also played a good game. Philippines will be our biggest competitor and we are excited to see how the game will go."
Malaysia vs. Hong Kong
The next game was a hard fought battle between Malaysia and Hong Kong with 53-43 final score not a reflection of the contest.
It was back and forth between Malaysia and Hong Kong in the opening exchanges right up to the final minute of the first quarter. However a held ball from Hong Kong and a quick transition down court from Malaysia, while converting their own centre pass immediately after, allowed them to take a 15-13 quarter lead.
A poor shooting quarter (62%) from Hong Kong, coupled with several mistakes from their attacking end allowed Malaysia to control the next quarter and take a 14-8 quarter lead. It was a much-improved performance from Hong Kong coupled with a number of missed shots from Malaysia in the third quarter, but Malaysia came back into the game right at the very end to lead by 2 (12-10). Both teams were deadlocked in the final quarter at 12-12 before Malaysia took the victory.
Looking ahead to their game against Sri Lanka tomorrow and Singapore on Thursday, Malaysia coach Choo Kon Lee said: “We have to stop all the balls in the middle third before they get the ball into the attacking third. As for Singapore, both of us play pretty much the same game so whoever makes the least mistakes will lead the game, and shooting percentages will also make a difference.
Sri Lanka vs. Singapore
The final game of the evening saw Sri Lanka defeat host nation Singapore for a 13-goal win (74-61).
The battle of the nations was a thriller from the very first whistle. Despite several intercepts from Singapore Goal Keeper Chen Lili against the 2.06m Sri Lankan Goal Shooter Tharjini Sivalingam, a couple of passing errors from Singapore allowed Sri Lanka to take a 5-goal quarter lead (17-12).
Sri Lanka then pushed ahead early in the second quarter for a slight lead which saw Singapore coach Natalie Milicich brought both Goal Attack Toh Kai Wei and Goal Keeper Sindhu Nair on mid-way through. It was a flawless 100% shooting performance from Sivalingam which saw Sri Lanka end the quarter 19-16.
It was end-to-end exchanges in the early part of the third quarter however, height became a factor as any missed shots from Singapore were collected by the Sri Lankan defenders for their shooters to finish the play and stretch the quarter score to 21-14.
Nair was persistent throughout the game and especially so in the final quarter against Sivalingam, getting several tips and intercepts despite the 33cm height difference. Buoyed by the strong crowd support, Singapore fought hard to take the last quarter by 3 goals but ultimately lost the match by 13 goals.
Despite the loss, Milicich was positive: “We had some structures that we needed to make sure we were implementing in our attacking end and I think to be honest, in the majority, we did very well. I think you’re punished if you lose possession, as it’s very hard to get it back. It’s only really five or six turnovers and then it’s 12 goals the difference and that’s not many. We weren’t far away from where we needed to be but we need to concentrate on our own game and not just on one player.”
On tomorrow’s match against Hong Kong, she added: “Hong Kong plays a lot of space marking and are very smart so they slow the game down quite a lot. We need to be very disciplined with what we’re doing tomorrow and we have to back ourselves to go for ball.”
Sri Lanka coach Thilaka Jindadasa was immensely proud of her team’s performance and remarked: “It was a decision making game for the players on both teams. Both teams have the same kind of fitness but we have a better advantage with the shooting. So we worked on our passes to Tharjini - that was our game plan and we have been successful today.”
The second round of matches continues tomorrow with Chinese Taipei looking for their first win against Philippines at 9am, followed by Pakistan against Maldives. The third game of Day 5 sees India take on Thailand at 1pm, and Japan and Brunei play at 3pm. Malaysia and Sri Lanka will then battle it out for a fourth consecutive victory, while Singapore will look to bounce back against Hong Kong in the final game of the day at 7pm.