Singapore Netballers down Hong Kong in close encounter
The Singapore netball team defeated Hong Kong 45-42 in the inaugural Hong Kong-Singapore Cup at Toa Payoh Sports Hall yesterday.
Singapore, ranked 20th in the world, had beaten their 26th-ranked opponents 34-27 when the two sides met at last year's Asian Netball Championship bronze-medal match in Bangkok.
The Republic also won two closed-door training matches against the same opponents on Friday and Saturday.
The two teams will meet again in next year's Asian Netball Championship, which Singapore are hosting.
Said interim Singapore coach Yeo Mee Hong: "It's really good that we got to play against Hong Kong and know our opponents better.
"We started the game really well in the first quarter but, in the second and last, Hong Kong came back strongly and really put the pressure on us."
As the scoreline suggested, it was a close affair yesterday.
Goal attacker Jocelyn Ng, making her Singapore debut along with Deborah Rowe, played three quarters of the match and scored 14 points on 70 per cent shooting.
Ng was part of the Singapore squad that recently went on a training tour of New Zealand, where they played five friendlies against club sides.
Said the 24-year-old: "I actually played better in New Zealand.
"I was more confident then, the players were all bigger and taller but I could hold my own.
"Maybe I was just nervous because this is my first international match."
Ng and the rest of the players will now switch their focus back to the Netball Super League, which begins on March 4 and ends on April 29.
Following that, preparations for the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur in August will step up a notch.
The team will go on training tours in Northern Ireland and Fiji before they begin the defence of their SEA Games gold medal.
Coach Yeo said: "New Zealand was a positive tour for us - the girls really toughened up. But next up, there's the Belfast tour, the Fiji tour and the SEA Games."