Singapore eye revenge against Ireland in Nations Cup
Singapore will enter today's third/fourth placing match against Ireland brimming with confidence, after giving top-ranked Cook Islands a run for their money in a 57-49 loss in the Mission Foods Nations Cup yesterday.
The hosts managed to reduce a 10-point half-time deficit to six points in the final five minutes, but were ultimately unable to break the resistance of the Cook Islands, who have now won all five games at the OCBC Arena.
Singapore coach Natalie Milicich believes that her players are in an excellent position to avenge their 54-53 loss to the Irish in the tournament's opening game last Sunday.
She said: "I'm disappointed with the result, because we gave everything today. We played well and showed our courage.
"The Cook Islands are a very clean and beautiful team, and I'm very proud we held our own against them physically."
World No. 19 Singapore have lost three out of their five round-robin matches.
Ireland (No. 22) slipped to third in the tournament standings after yesterday's 50-24 defeat by Swaziland (No. 30), who leapfrogged them into second place to earn a championship match against Cook Islands today.
Milicich, whose team are fourth on the table, said today's clash with Ireland is all about redemption.
She said: "We've got to redeem ourselves in a way from that first game and we just have to make sure that we put four quarters together.
"I'm confident that we can do better, now that we've built depth in our squad. It doesn't matter who's going out there, they're all stepping up and taking every chance they have."
Singapore's Melody Teo feels that the team have been showing steady improvement throughout the tournament.
The 25-year-old goalkeeper and goal defender said: "We just have to reduce the unforced errors, such as stepping and catching the ball, and not making our teammates overstretch for the ball. Other than that, we are quite confident.
"We've been preparing pretty well and the games leading up to tomorrow have been really good for us. We played a hard-fought game today, so to be able to finish third will be a bonus for us."
YESTERDAY'S OTHER RESULTS
- Hong Kong 50 Malaysia 44
- Swaziland 50 Ireland 24
- Hong Kong v Malaysia (5th v 6th, 12pm)
- Ireland v Singapore (3rd v 4th, 2pm)
- Cook Islands v Swaziland (1st v 2nd, 4pm)