Singapore netballers edge past Malaysia to enter final
Singapore's netballers reached their fifth consecutive Asian Netball Championships final after beating Malaysia 46-39 at the Singapore Sports Hub today (Sept 13).
The seven-point margin was the slimmest of their five wins so far, after earlier beating Japan (67-13), Vietnam (84-8), Hong Kong (63-28) and India (73-20) in the group stage.
Veteran defender Premila Hirubalan, however, felt the team produced their best showing yet as they kept up a proud unbeaten record over their Causeway rivals that stretches back to 2003.
At the OCBC Arena yesterday, Premila had to be on song alongside her defensive partner and team captain Lin Qingyi to keep Malaysia's dangerous goalshooter Norashikin Kamal Zaman at bay.
Singapore won both the first and second quarters to lead 26-18 at the break, with goalshooter Charmaine Soh in fine form, sinking 16 of her 18 attempts.
But the hosts showed signs of imploding in the third quarter, and some sloppy play allowed Malaysia to pull to within six points.
But the Singapore girls held their nerve to see out the final quarter 8-7 to book their spot in the final.
They will face old rivals Sri Lanka, who beat Hong Kong 57-42 in the other semi-final, in the final.
Singapore and Sri Lanka previously met each other in the finals of the 2001, 2009 and 2012 editions of the tournament.
Sri Lanka won on the first two times, before Singapore came out tops two years ago.
Tickets for the final on Sunday (Sept 14) at 4pm are still available.
For details, go to http://www.netball.org.sg.