MANILA: The national net ball squad maintained its unbeaten record in an early round match, after taming its traditional arch-foe, Singapore 54-49 in the 30th SEA Games competition yesterday.
In the action at the Santa Rosa Sports Complex, Laguna, here, the national squad, however, had little leeway when given a stiff fight until the closing whistle.
Early in the first quarter, the national squad was forced to gird themselves in facing the opponents’ onslaught after they were left behind 0-4 before forging ahead 15-12.
The stiff competition continued into the second quarter, but despite little gaps being created, the national team managed to stay ahead with 28-24.
A different game was seen in the third quarter which saw Singapore displaying a better performance and edging closer with 38-40.
But with the height advantages of the two Malaysian squad pillars at the front, Norashikin Kamal Zaman and An Najwa Azizan, the national team re-established their dominance of the match and won in style.
Malaysia is now occupying the top spot and, based on the round robin format, the national squad would be facing the fourth-placed team Brunei in the semi-final on Dec 1.
Meanwhile, Singapore which is in second place would be meeting Thailand which ended its action in third place.
Meanwhile, national team shipper, Nur Syafazliyana Mohd Ali reminded her team mates not to under-estimate Brunei despite having beaten them 69-23 prior to this.
“We do not want to be complacent. Regardless of which opponent we will be meeting in the semi-finals, we will face it one match at a time. We will also ratchet up our game from day to day,” she said.
The same tone was shared by the national coach, Tracey Robinson who reminded the players not to take easy the competition Brunei would be giving.
“For us every game is important and you know we are building towards probably playing our best game in the final. So, hopefully, finger crossed, we will do well against Brunei and advance to the final,” she added. – Bernama