Netball: Singapore team ready for better show at home in Nations Cup

Singapore's Zhang Ailin (holding ball) and Pamela Liew in action against Hong Kong in the Asian Netball Championship 3rd/4th placing match in Bangkok on Aug 7, 2016.
Singapore's Zhang Ailin (holding ball) and Pamela Liew in action against Hong Kong in the Asian Netball Championship 3rd/4th placing match in Bangkok on Aug 7, 2016. PHOTO: NETBALL SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - After finishing third at the Asian Netball Championship two weeks ago, the Singapore team want to put up improved performances when the Republic hosts the Mission Foods Nations Cup next month.

The tournament will be held from Sept 4-10 at the Sports Hub's OCBC Arena.

National coach Ruth Aitken has kept her faith in the same team that saw Singapore fail to make the final of the Asian Netball Championship for the first time since 1997.

The Kiwi said: "The team are getting seasoned and have been showing a lot of promise, so we are looking forward to a good showing."

But the Nations Cup will be a tough assignment, as all six participating sides are ranked from 15th to 25th in the world.

Papua New Guinea (world ranking 15th) are the top-ranked side. Singapore are the fourth highest-ranked team in the tournament with a world ranking of 17.

The other teams featuring in the Cup are Zambia (16th), Botswana (18th), Canada (19th) and Ireland (25th).

Singapore will face Ireland in the opening game on Sept 4.

Captain Vanessa Lee looks forward to the tough competition, saying: "This is the second major tournament we will be playing as a team. The more we play and train together, the more we get used to each other's style of play and can read each other's movement on court.

"I believe that we will be playing stronger for the Mission Foods Nations Cup. The teams are all very competitive but we relish the tough challenge.

"We always enjoy playing at home and the support of the Singapore crowd will spur us on, so we urge our fans to come out in full force to support us."

Tickets (from $3 for concession passes to $90 for family packages) are available at www.apactix.com

Singapore squad

•Vanessa Lee (goal defence/goalkeeper)

•Nurul Baizura (centre/wing defence)

•Charmaine Soh (goal attack/goal shooter/wing attack)

•Yu Mei Ling (goal shooter/goal attack)

•Pamela Liew (goal attack/wing attack)

•Zhang Ailin (goal attack/wing attack)

•Kimberly Lim (wing attack/centre)

•Parveen Nair (wing defence/goal defence/centre)

•Josephine Yeo (centre/wing defence)

•Chen Li Li (goalkeeper/goal shooter)

•Shina Teo (goalkeeper/goal defence)

•Aqilah Andin (wing defence/goal defence/goalkeeper).