Singapore to play Malaysian in Asian U-21 final
Singapore's U-21 netball team count on unity to beat Malaysia in Asian final today
They will be up against five-time champions Malaysia today in the final of the Asian Youth Netball Championships in Jeonju, South Korea.
But Singapore's Under-21 netball team are banking on the "Singapore style" - speed and agility on court - and team spirit to clinch only their second victory in the age-group tournament.
Singapore beat Hong Kong to win the inaugural tournament in 1994, and lost the final in the second edition to Sri Lanka four years later.
Since then, they have finished third four times in a row, including the last edition in 2015.
Yesterday, Huang Po Chin's charges marched into the final with a comprehensive 58-32 win over defending champions Sri Lanka at the Jeonju National Stadium.
Looking forward to today's final, Huang, 36, said: "The thing that stands out for me, since I've been coaching them (from 2016), is their connection with one another as a team.
"Coming into this tournament it has been really significant for them and it's a collective effort for everybody.
"The morale and belief they have for each other, that gives them the confidence (going into today's final)."
Huang also took heart in the way her team dismantled Sri Lanka yesterday.
Singapore led in all four quarters, even though the coach was miffed at her team's sloppiness in passing in the mid-court during the second quarter.
She said: "The game plan was well executed by the team in terms of maintaining possession of the ball and their decision making was great.
"In the first, third and fourth quarters, we were consistent and led by eight goals but, in the second quarter, we lost a few centre passes and led by just two goals.
"We were able to take it back, but I think (against Malaysia) it has to be about us being able to put up a consistent performance and to treasure the centre pass."
Also, she stressed the need for her team to focus on defence.
Huang said: "Their attack is really good, with two very experienced shooters at their end of the court. Their mid-court is also really fast and feisty.
"We are going to have to put up a strong team effort to defend, take on their shooters and stop the ball from going in."
She added that her charges are highly motivated to win the Causeway Derby today.
"We know Malaysia are a quality team, but we are hyped and hungry for the win."