A dream netball final as Singapore prepare to take on Malaysia
Malaysians confident as they prepare for battle for gold with Asian champions Singapore
Singapore's netball women are the reigning Asian champions and have been to the world championships.
But they've not won gold at the South-east Asia (SEA) Games, with rivals Malaysia claiming victory the last time the sport featured on the programme in 2001 in Kuala Lumpur, where they beat Singapore in the final.
Today may very well be the day that statistic changes, as the hosts go for gold in the final against Malaysia at the OCBC Arena.
The hosts had better beware, though, because their rivals from across the Causeway are quietly confident of producing an even bigger shock.
The two teams met in the preliminary round and it ended all square at 35-35, much to the delight of the Malaysians, while the hosts and gold-medal favourites were left despondent.
After watching her team trounce Brunei 79-23 in the semi-finals yesterday, Malaysia coach Aminah Asaari said: "It is the final that everyone has wanted from the start. We are ready physically, mentally, tactically and in every way. I'm sure tomorrow's game will be a good fight.
"We are waiting for Singapore, and I'm sure they are waiting for us. The team who make more mistakes will lose."
Singapore coach Ruth Aitken likened the rivalry between the two Causeway rivals to that of netball giants Australia and New Zealand.
Speaking after Singapore's routine 59-29 semi-final win over Thailand, the Kiwi said: "We've had some really big battles against them and I think tomorrow will be the biggest of them all.
"We need to be aware that they won't give up and they need to be aware that we won't, either.
"It's going to be a massive battle and the place to be on Sunday."
With the Malaysians watching closely, Singapore easily beat the Thais in vice-captain Chen Huifen's 100th international appearance.
Coach Aitken also managed to give all 12 players some court time.
Once the final whistle went, the home team did not spend any time celebrating with the sell-out crowd, as their focus shifted to the final.
Captain Micky Lin said: "It'll be a very tough game. We are hoping to start off strong and maintain the lead for the rest of the game.
"But it's going to be a very tough 60 minutes for us."
Her coach agreed.
"They're a very energetic team and they're very committed... We've got to rise to the occasion, bring our best game both in attack and defence and then it's all on."