We succumbed to nerves, says women's water polo coach
They were favourites to win the women's water polo gold on home ground at the 28th SEA Games.
They won the event in 2011 in Indonesia - the last time women's water polo featured at the biennial Games - and also ruled at the South-east Asian Championships.
But in front of their own fans, Singapore were stunned 5-4 by Thailand at the OCBC Aquatic Centre yesterday and had to settle for silver, instead.
Singapore needed only a draw to retain their gold medal as they were well ahead of Thailand on goal difference.
But they simply could not convert some glorious chances in the final quarter and paid the ultimate price.
Singapore coach Choo Chin Cheng felt nerves were his charges' undoing yesterday.
"They were too tense and we missed a couple of chances because the girls were rushing for the goals," said Choo, 56.
"They should have been more calm and this will be improved for better performances in the future."
Referring to centre forward Adelyn Yew, who had put up dominant displays throughout the competition only to fluff her lines badly yesterday, Choo said: "She's had a flu over the past few days, and only just recovered today.
"She was a bit lethargic, but she tried very hard and did her best, so that's good."
Choo insisted that the weight of competing at home had not got to the players.
"There was no pressure from the home crowd," he said.
"The girls were one goal down and maybe in trying to chase more goals to catch up, they became more tense.
"The match had been close from the start, with the score locked at 3-3 at the end of the first half."
Thailand surged ahead with two more goals and, although Singapore captain Gina Koh scored a goal to narrow the score, it was ultimately not enough to secure the win.
Yew declined to speak to the media later, but Koh, 23, praised her teammates for their spirited performance.
"I'm happy we continued trying even though we were lagging behind," she said.
"That's something we need to continue to work on for future matches - to place the shot in pressure moments.
"To do that, we'll have to train harder as a team and as individuals."
Despite the loss, Koh remained upbeat.
"We played well and we played our best and there were no regrets left in the pool," said the centre back.
"We will continue to work even harder to come back stronger for future competitions.
Team manager Wong Kok Piew echoed her sentiments, adding: "This is only the beginning of many good things to come for Singapore water polo.
"We know what went wrong and we know where we have failed.
"It's not going to hurt us and we'll come back even stronger."
Indonesia finished ahead of Malaysia and the Philippines for the bronze medal.