National netball team off to Lion City for exposure games

Caption: The national netball team in a group photo prior to departure to Singapore. Picture: Courtesy of BNA


Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh

THE national netball team left the country this morning for an exposure tour in Singapore to play a series of practice matches.

The Royal Bees will play Sneakers tomorrow at the Methodist Girls School before meeting Nike Marlins at the OCBC Arena the following day.

They will travel to Woodlands Avenue on Friday to play Republic Polytechnic before closing their campaign against Singapore Recreation Club on Saturday.

National coach Thilaka Jinadasa anticipates tough matches against the experienced Singapore sides and she wants her charges to learn to adapt to different styles of play throughout their eight-day stay at the Lion City.

“Sneakers will be very tough to play against… Nike Marlins are a strong team too… but I think all four games will be challenging for us,” said Jinadasa in an interview with BruSports.

“Singapore teams like to play short and quick passing strategic games and defensively I am sure Singapore teams are most likely to play zonal which will be a new experience for our players to overcome,” she added.

The training visit to Singapore is the third of four proposed exposure series for the national team this year as they hosted Sri Lanka's Presbyterian Girls School last month and played Sabah's netball team in Kota Kinabalu in March.

“The main objective of this visit is to see the progress after the Sri Lanka exposure series last month,” continued Jinadasa.

“The players now must implement what they have trained and in this exposure I want them to learn to adjust to different situations because Singapore clubs consist of experienced players and it will be good to see how we handle the pressure in certain situations against good sides like them,” added the Sri Lankan.

Jinadasa, who arrived in the Sultanate in 2011, has been the driving force behind the recent success of the national netball team in the Southeast Asian region.

The national team’s latest achievement was finishing second at the South Korea Invitational Netball tournament in September after losing 30-23 to eventual winners Hong Kong.

They also improved their ranking at the Asian Netball Championship in Bangkok in the same month when they finished sixth - bettering their previous ranking of seventh.

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