Sports

Singapore's netballers beaten 57-52 by Botswana

Singapore's netball team suffered their first defeat at the M1 Nations Cup, losing 57-52 to Botswana at the OCBC Arena yesterday.

The Republic, who are ranked world No. 28, found themselves on the back foot against the 26th-ranked Botswana, trailing 14-12 in the first quarter.

Midway through the second period, the African side pulled away to a five-goal lead, but the hosts fought back to narrow the gap to 30-28 going into the break.

The visitors extended their lead to 46-41 in the third quarter and, try as they did, Singapore could not close the gap - unlike on Sunday, when they fought back to draw 54-54 with world No. 33 Namibia in their opening match.

Despite the defeat, Singapore coach Natalie Milicich was upbeat.

She said: "I think we showed a lot of courage out there, it was a very physical game so we had to front up to that and I thought that we did that very well."

Captain Charmaine Soh said: "I thought it was a very close fight because the last time we played them, I think we lost quite a bit."

In yesterday's other matches, world No. 12 Cook Islands won their second game on the trot by beating 20th-ranked Papua New Guinea 62-34, while Namibia defeated 25th-ranked Ireland 52-31.

Singapore will face Ireland today.

TODAY'S GAMES

3pm: Papua New Guinea v Botswana

5pm: Namibia v Cook Islands

7pm: Singapore v Ireland

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