Netball: Singapore book M1 Nations Cup final spot against Namibia with 57-47 win over Papua New Guinea

Singapore's Toh Kai Wei and Papua New Guinea's Courtney Abel leap for the ball.
Singapore's Toh Kai Wei and Papua New Guinea's Courtney Abel leap for the ball.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - The national netball team stormed into the M1 Nations Cup final after a 57-47 win over world No. 20 Papua New Guinea on Friday (Oct 25) at the OCBC Arena.

Singapore, ranked 28th, led as many as four goals in the first quarter, but Papua New Guinea closed the gap, with the period ending 13-12 to the hosts.

The aggressive visitors drew level, going goal for goal at the beginning of the second quarter, but Singapore eventually composed themselves to go into half-time 26-20 up.

Singapore increased their lead to 43-29 in the third quarter and sealed the win in the final quarter.

The Republic will come up against world No. 33 Namibia in the final on Saturday.

Undefeated Namibia beat Botswana 54-47 earlier today to top the group with nine points and secure their place in tomorrow's final.

Singapore drew 54-54 with Namibia earlier in the competition.

The last time Singapore made it into the Nations Cup final was in 2014, where they lost 50-41 to Samoa.

For third place, Botswana take on the Cook Islands while Papua New Guinea meet Ireland for fifth spot.

A beaming captain Charmaine Soh said: "We were pretty down after the World Cup after losing all the games. From losing all the games - we thought we couldn't win any more - to winning most of them, I'm so proud of them.

"With each game here, the team got stronger, we fought hard and trusted each other."

Coach Natalie Milicich also praised her charges for bouncing back from the disappointment.

On making the final, she said: "It shows the amount of work we've been doing.

"It was a really big turnaround from some tough games at the World Cup to finding ourselves at the beginning of the week.

"We knew that if we had the patience, the results would come."

Singapore hit a roadblock a few minutes into the match when wing attack Kimberly Lim exited with an Achilles strain, and will miss the final.

Milicich said: "It'll a tough final for us, but I think we've got better throughout the week so it's really important that we are relaxed. The players are in a good place, there's a lot of confidence."

Soh called on her teammates to maintain their composure and communicate with each other when they have possession.

The 29-year-old said: "Our team works well by being more vocal with each other.

"We need to get each other to refocus and connect well from defence through midfield and attack.

"Since we're in the final, we got to go all out and do our best."