Caption: The national netball team in a group photo with HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah (C), the President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC), yesterday after their match against Singapore. Also pictured are HRH Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah (6th R) and YAM Pg Muda 'Abdul 'Aleem (5th R). Picture: Courtesy of BNA
Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE national netball team showed they are up for a fight during their 62-37 defeat to defending champions Singapore at the 29th SEA Games in Malaysia yesterday.
The odds were stacked against Brunei to win their opening match against the reigning champions at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara in Kuala Lumpur but the Royal Bees battled all the way throughout.
The Singaporeans, being the taller and stronger team, clearly dominated the game and opened up a 33-13 halftime lead.
But the national team showed glimpse of potential with their fluid passing and relentless running especially in the last two quarters of the match - most notably in the third period where both sides scored 12 points each.
"It was hard to find our momentum at first but with team changes in the third quarter the girls were able to stay strong and fought back," national coach Thilaka Jinadasa told BruSports News last night.
"If only we could minimise our unforced errors, we could have done much better than this. But overall I am still really happy and proud of the build up and how they stayed focus all throughout,” he added.
The result also meant that Brunei have improved on their game after losing with a huge margin to Singapore 72-21 at the previous edition two years ago.
"In the last edition of the SEA Games we lost 72-21 to Singapore and since then our goal is to go above our score and minimise the score (deficit)," said the Sri Lankan.
"I am happy that we managed to achieve this and it was also a bonus to us that we managed to equal the score 12-12 in the third quarter,” added the national netball coach.
Brunei will be back in action today against the reigning Asian Netball Champions Malaysia at the same venue at 5pm.
"For the next game I am sure it will be even harder but we must stick with our game strategies as we trained and work quarter by quarter,” said Jinadasa.
“Again it is also important for us to control the score of the opponents," she concluded.