MANILA — Malaysia is on track to defend the SEA Games netball title, after whipping hosts, Philippines 88-25 in the preliminary round today.
Despite playing in front the vociferous home crowd at the Santa Rosa Sports Complex, Laguna here, the girls showed their class and prowess as the defending champions to chalk a big margin victory.
The two times champions started strong by leading 23-7 in the first quarter, before the hosts tried to reduce the margin at the beginning of the second 15 minutes, but Malaysia regained momentum to lead 44-15.
Having the height advantage over the host country players, Malaysia then increased the score to secure their second win, after defeating Thailand 62-42 in the first match, yesterday.
The country’s first netballer to play in the foreign league with Australian club, GWS (Greater Western Sydney) Fury, An Najwa Azizan admitted today’s outing was far better than yesterday.
“Definitely a good start, our gameplay in the first game was a bit scrappy, but we can see improvement in the second game. Our goal is to improve day by day, and execute the game plan for that day,” she told Malaysian media after the match.
Malaysia will next face Brunei on Thursday before concluding the round robin fixture against arch-rivals, Singapore on Friday.
Meanwhile, team coach Tracey Robinson said the team have to take every match seriously and work hard for the entire 60 minutes, while focusing on improving further.
“This match against Philippines is among the really important ones, we wanted to be better than yesterday and we did that,” she said.
According to the format, the first placed team in the round robin will face fourth place team, while second placed team will challenge the third placed team in the semifinals scheduled for Dec 1.
For the record, in the three editions where netball have been contested in the SEA Games, Malaysia bagged the gold medal twice, both as the host of the biennial Games in 2001 and 2017, while Singapore won once when hosting the Games in 2015.
Source: Malay Mail https://bit.ly/2XRlaDX