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Singapore to Fight for 13th to 16th Spot at the Netball World Cup

Singapore loses second qualification round match to Trinidad & Tobago

Singapore lost their 2nd qualification round game 75-32 to Trinidad & Tobago and will now compete for the 13th to 16th positions at the Netball World Cup (NWC) Sydney 2015.

Singapore will get a rest day tomorrow to regroup and consider their game plan for the last qualification round game against Zambia on Friday, 14 August at 2.20pm (12.20pm Singapore time).

Zambia is ranked lower than Singapore in the 20th position in the world rankings, however, similarly to Uganda who was unranked before competing in the Netball Nations Cup back in 2013, the low ranking could be hugely due to the lack of international games. Zambia has shown that they are very competitive after losing narrowly to Fiji by 8 goals (51-59).

Singapore is looking to improve their 15th position from the last World Cup and to achieve this, Singapore will hope to win their last qualification match against Zambia so that they are placed in a better position as a win will likely pit them against the weakest team in Pool H, Sri Lanka, whom Singapore has beaten 56-43 during the preliminary stages.

The first quarter started with both teams being very cautious with their play and executing simple passes. It seemed as if they were sounding out each other’s play and strategy. It was T&T who first found a way to break down the Singapore’s defence by pumping high balls to their 1.93m tall Goal Shooter, Samantha Wallace, who is very mobile and could shoot from anywhere of the circle. T&T quickly sped ahead with a 12-3 lead after 9 minutes of the game. Singapore was forced to shoot from mid and long-range most of the time as their attackers struggled to get the clear ball to their shooters, with T&T’s defenders (1.8m and 1.93m) towering over them. The quarter ended 21-8 to T&T.

Team changes were made to the Singapore side for the 2nd quarter and were effective for awhile as Singapore managed to hold themselves against the world no 9 and kept the quarter score level (5-5) for the first 5 minutes. However, with the T&T bench chanting “defence, defence” whenever Singapore is attacking, it seemed as if the chant worked as the taller, bigger and athletic girls soon regained their momentum and pulled the score line away, putting the 2nd quarter score at 41-17.

Olivia Flanagan came on in the 3rd quarter and added fresh legs for the Singapore team, but with T&T’s shooters posting a 92% shooting accuracy, the score line was kept at bay and the 3rd quarter ended 58-24 to T&T.

With the score line chipping away and Singapore possibly thinking ahead of the next game, Head Coach Ruth Aitken rotated and played all bench players to ensure that they get more court-time. The match ended 75-32, in favour of T&T.

Head Coach, Ruth Aitken, said of T&T, “I think there’s no doubt that Trinidad are a very good side and they had a proud history of world netball finishing first way back in 1979. They also managed to pick up big sculpts along the way, so we were probably a bit flat. I think we struggled to find space on court in the first quarter particularly and I thought Shelby came along very well when she came on and open things up. But the hard thing is that when we were playing quite conservatively and very close together, that promoted the Trinidad’s defence and they worked off each other really well. So we had to try to get them to open court, let the ball go and then the spaces came.”

“I was pleased that we got everyone out there today which was very important going into the rest day tomorrow and then three games in a row. It is very good to see Pamela come back on and played well today and that’s very important that we know if we need her then we can count on her and it’s really about resting legs. At the world stage, the teams play a very explosive game and so for our players to be able to continue to play explosively they need to have enough recovery and keep their feet as free as possible,” added Aitken

Vice Captain, Chen Huifen said, “The game is not easy. Their bodies are big and they are very athletic. We went into the game knowing what’s coming for us and having the mentality that we must play harder. I thought the intensity that we brought out was quite good. We had some nice patches of play.”

On their game plan against Zambia, Chen commented, “We will watch footages of them and probably identify their strengths and weaknesses and then using our strength to counter them.”

Samoa and Zambia will face off in the other Pool G fixture today at 4.20pm (2.20pm Singapore time).

Singapore enjoy a rest day tomorrow and will take on Zambia at 2.20pm (12.20pm Singapore time) at the Allphones Arena, Sydney Olympic Park on Friday, 14 August.

The competition will head into placing matches in the last two days of the competition with the Semis at 12.10pm and 2.20pm (10.10am and 12.20pm Singapore time) on 15 August and the gold medal match at 3.20pm (1.20pm Singapore time) on 16 August.

 

Starting Line-ups

Singapore 

GS CHARMAINE SOH 

GA CHEN HUIFEN (VICE-CAPT) 

WA KIMBERLY LIM 

C NURUL BAIZURA (VICE-CAPT) 

WD PREMILA HIRUBALAN

GD LIN QINGYI (CAPT) 

GK CHEN LI LI 

Trinidad & Tobago

GS SAMANTHA WALLACE

GA JOELISA COOPER (CAPT)

WA RHONDA JOHN-DAVIS

C CANDICE GUERERO

WD ONELLA JACK

GD KIELLE CONNELLY

GK DAYSTAR SWIFT

 

Quarter Results (Trinidad & Tobago v Singapore)

1st Quarter 21-8

2nd Quarter 41-17 (20-9)

3rd Quarter 58-24 (17-7)

4th Quarter 75-32 (17-8)

 

Shooting Accuracy

Trinidad & Tobago (Overall: 91%)

Samantha Wallace 27/31 (87%)

Joelisa Cooper 14/14 (100%)

Afeisha Noel 8/10 (80%)

Kalifa McCollin 26/27 (96%)

Singapore (Overall: 74%)

Charmaine Soh 17/24 (71%)

Chen Huifen 8/8 (100%)

Yu Mei Ling 3/5 (60%)

Pamela Liew 4/6 (67%)

 

Singapore’s Past Results and Upcoming Fixtures

Preliminary Round (Pool C)

7 August, 11.50am: Singapore vs Sri Lanka (56-47)

8 August, 5.20pm: South Africa vs Singapore (69-21)

9 August, 6.20pm: Malawi vs Singapore (75-31)

Qualification Round (Pool G)

11 August, 10.20am: Samoa vs Singapore (13-16)

12 August, 10.20am: Trinidad & Tobago vs Singapore (75-32)

14 August, 2.20pm: Singapore vs Zambia