SEA Games: Stellar defence propels S'pore netballers to 65-24 win over Thailand

Singapore notched their second win of the SEA Games netball competition with a 65-24 win over Thailand at the OCBC Arena on June 1, 2015. -- PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Singapore notched their second win of the SEA Games netball competition with a 65-24 win over Thailand at the OCBC Arena on June 1, 2015. -- PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - After their opening-day 72-21 rout of Brunei on Sunday, Singapore notched their second win of the SEA Games netball competition with a 65-24 win over Thailand at the OCBC Arena on Monday.

This time, their outstanding defence shone through as veteran Premila Hirubalan and captain Micky Lin marshalled the defence effectively, forcing the Thais to make many errors and wayward passes. Meanwhile, 2.05m-tall goalkeeper Chen Lili also unsettled the Thai shooters with her physical presence.

Shina Teo came on for Hirubalan in the second quarter to earn her second cap, and impressed as well with several key interceptions.

Singapore's shooters were on target yet again, with Charmaine Soh finishing as the game's top scorer with 28 goals, while her replacement Yasmin Ho scored all of her 20 attempts on goal. Goal attackers Chen Huifen and Pamela Liew scored four and 13 goals respectively to help Singapore to victory.

Head coach Ruth Aitken was pleased with her side's defensive effort, and also praised Teo and Ho, who earned their second and third caps respectively.

She said: "You can tell that with both of them, their confidence has grown since their debuts yesterday, and I thought they performed well. Yasmin got 20 out of 20, which is not bad for a shooter."

Aitken made plenty of changes during the game, which she said was to keep her players fresh and ready for the week ahead.

"It's really important that the five on the bench are seamless if they need to come on, and I think they've all got the confidence to know that if they're needed in any of the big games, they're able to come on and make a difference," she added.

Meanwhile, Lin was looking forward to the next game against close rivals Malaysia on Tuesday. Malaysia had thrashed the Philippines 112-11 in an earlier game on Monday.

Lin said: "The team that make the fewest mistakes will be able to take the game. They (Malaysia) are very competitive and skilful, and we're very similar in terms of strength."

isaacneo@sph.com.sg