Singapore's national netball team kept alive their hopes of reaching the Mission Foods Nations Cup final with a battling 44-37 win over Hong Kong at the OCBC Arena yesterday. It was the hosts' first victory of the Dec 3-9 tournament, after earlier losses to Ireland (53-54) and Swaziland (51-64).
Singapore, ranked 19th in the world, led 6-1 in the first quarter, only for their 24th-ranked opponents to catch up. The home side ended every quarter in the lead (12-10, 24-21, 34-30, 44-37), but had to overcome a scare from a resurgent Hong Kong in the third quarter.
A series of errors from Singapore saw the visitors level the scores and gain the advantage for the first time in the match, but the Republic regained the lead after tightening their defence. Hong Kong once again threatened to equalise in the final quarter, but Singapore held steady to seal the win.
Singapore face world No. 20 Malaysia in their next match today, a repeat of August's SEA Games final which the Causeway rivals won 65-41.
Said Singapore coach Natalie Milicich: "We are not going to underestimate Malaysia tomorrow.
"There's always that rivalry so we just got to make sure that we stick to our own game and do what we did today and even better tomorrow. "
In other matches yesterday, the Cook Islands beat Ireland 40-32 while Swaziland defeated Malaysia 67-50.