Singapore flatten Hong Kong at Asian C'ship

Singapore have one foot in the semi-finals of the Asian Netball Championship after a 32-18 win over Hong Kong last night. But even after conquering their toughest opponents in their group, captain Vanessa Lee refuses to let her focus slip.

"Beating Hong Kong today has definitely boosted the team's morale," said the 32-year-old.

"But the semi-finals are still ahead of us, and we'll have tougher matches ahead."

Despite the margin of victory, the win against Hong Kong was no cinch. Singapore had to devise a strategy to combat Hong Kong's physical edge as their opponents comprised a number of taller Caucasian players.

"We were playing against people much bigger than ourselves," said coach Ruth Aitken.

"The girls had to work together to get the ball to the shooter - so we played short, sharp and fast, flat balls instead of long balls that they could defend against. Defence-wise, we displayed our trademark hustle. We had tenacious defenders all through the court."

Establishing an 11-2 lead over Hong Kong in the second quarter was crucial to the outcome, she added.

Singapore began their title defence in Bangkok with Group A victories over Chinese Taipei (57-14) on Sunday and Thailand (49-28) on Monday. A victory against the Maldives this evening would place Aitken's charges as the top seeds in their group and guarantee a spot in the semi-finals. They are likely to meet either Malaysia or Sri Lanka in the last four.

Lee hopes that the team will continue to build on their game as they move one step closer to the final.

She said: "I'm glad we cleared Hong Kong today, but each match is a step up every time we play.

"Hopefully we'll be up there by the time we reach the final."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore flatten Hong Kong at Asian C'ship'. Print Edition | Subscribe