Netball: Singapore hope home fans will blow Hong Kong away

Singapore's goal defender Aqilah Andin (in blue) intercepting the ball during the Mission Foods Nations Cup match against Swaziland at the OCBC Arena yesterday. The Republic lost 51-64 and will be up against Hong Kong today, following two defeats.
Singapore's goal defender Aqilah Andin (in blue) intercepting the ball during the Mission Foods Nations Cup match against Swaziland at the OCBC Arena yesterday. The Republic lost 51-64 and will be up against Hong Kong today, following two defeats.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

They had just lost 51-64 to Swaziland in their Mission Foods Nations Cup match, but to their supporters who stayed behind for autographs and pictures last night, Singapore's netballers were still heroines.

And it is this home support at the OCBC Arena the Republic will be counting on as they aim to bounce back after two straight losses.

Said goal attack and Nations Cup debutante Toh Kai Wei: "We'll definitely look back at our performance today and keep our heads up."

World No. 30 Swaziland proved too fast for 19th-ranked Singapore yesterday and carved out a 34-25 lead after the first half, extending it to 50-38 after three quarters.

Singapore co-vice-captain Charmaine Soh gave credit to the visitors' swift play, but admitted she was "a bit disappointed" by the loss.

"I felt we could have done much better than this. We did well but we have to brush up on the basics like passes, stepping and maintaining possession," said the goal shooter.

Singapore had lost 53-54 to Ireland on Sunday and face an uphill task in reaching their target of a top-two finish. But national coach Natalie Milicich remained optimistic ahead of today's clash against No. 24 Hong Kong.

"I think we did (show courage and guts), it's really just that first half that got away from us a little bit," said the New Zealander. "We need to regroup at the end and look at what we did well in the last two games, and try to put it all together for 60 minutes tomorrow."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore hope home fans will blow HK away'. Print Edition | Subscribe