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NC2015 Match Report: Singapore Vs Chinese Taipei

The crowd was buzzing as the teams took the court for their third match of the tournament; known to many as the match that would earn hometown hero and captain, Micky Lin, her 100th international cap.

Both teams had lost their two prior matches and were facing a must-win situation to be in the running for the third and fourth place play-off.

Right from the get go, the home team took the game to Chinese Taipei, with their mix of quick offensive play and cross court exchanges. GS Yasmin Ho rocketed them into a lead scoring 14 times in the first quarter after capitalizing on a number of defensive vulnerabilities. Unsurprisingly, a number of key players were rested, including Co-vice captains Baizura, Charmaine, and GK Chen Lili. Singapore took the quarter comfortably 20 – 4.

At the beginning of the second quarter, the Chinese played a good defensive game, holding Singapore off for a good four minutes before the world no. 15 found a way past a determined and aggressive defence. Singapore then mustered a run of eleven straight points as they opened up a 25-point lead. The inclusion of Baizura, and Lili showed the depth of the squad as the Chinese were limited to a miserly 5 goals. Singapore closed out the first half comfortably 39-9.

In the third quarter, it looked like more of the same, as Singapore’s experience showed as they continued to stretch their lead and impose their dominance on the opponents. This compounded with a further 12 points from Yasmin ensured the hosts were on their way to victory with an insurmountable 39-lead.

In the final quarter, the Singaporean’s reiterated why they’re the best in Asia, as they cruised past the opposition, scoring almost at will, with both Yasmin and Charmaine combining for a further 18 points. At this point, the defensive frailties in the Chinese Taipei team was evident, as the lack of experience resulted in a number of crucial mistakes that led directly to goals. 
It was a night to remember for Team Singapore as they showed their strength and depth as newcomers like Wan Ling and Parveen got significant amounts of game time, and Chen Lili managed her 50th cap.

Despite the poor result, the Chinese can take heart from a determined performance, as they never once looked like giving up. The grit and perseverance showed during the match proved that on another day, they could be giving any of the other teams a run for their money.

Singapore vs Chinese Taipei
Q1: 20 – 4
Q2: 39 – 9 (19 – 5)
Q3: 53 – 15 (14 – 6)
Q4: 71 – 20 (18 – 5)

Quote from Head Coaches
Ruth Aitken, Singapore Head Coach 
I was really delighted with what I saw today, and it’s important that we keep all 12 players connected the way this competition’s going, the last two games have been quite intense so it was good to give the other players a run out.

I think the players relaxed tonight and got back to enjoying their game, and it was a special night for Micky. The changes Lili has made to adjust to the game has been fantastic, and she’s grown with every opportunity.

To be here for Micky’s 100th has been something special, I’m so proud to be on the same team as her.

Goh Seck Tuck, Chinese Taipei Head Coach
The players are physically tired after all the matches they’ve played. They were penalised for basic movements such as stepping. A lot more work needs to be done and it will be through practice; how to defend and attack under pressure.

Quote from Team Captain/Player
Micky Lin, Singapore Captain
I feel priviledged to be able to do this, especially to do it on home ground, having the support of friends and family around me as I achieved this milestone, I’m really thankful for this opportunity. It’s amazing to have the group of girls with me, the most memorable part of this journey is having the opportunity to play with the girls. 
It’s not a number thing per say, it’s more of what the body can take and being able to balance the various things in life.

Wang Ying-Po, Chinese Taipei Player
The game was rather intense and the Singapore team is a strong opponent. There is so much to learn from them. The scores didn’t look too good. We need to focus on attack and the team’s core strength. Also, the team’s communication needs to be improved, so that we are able to open up for more passes.