National netball coach
Thilaka Jinadasa is
confident Brunei will
progress to the
semi-finals of Sunday's
8th Asian Youth Netball
The Sultanate's Under-21 national netball team are five days away from the 8th Asian Youth Netball Championship, and after six months of preparation and cutting the team down to 13 of the best players, they will face their first real test on Sunday.
Brunei, whose coach has said she expects to finish second in their group, will open up the competition with their Group A match against Japan at the Indoor Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium in Berakas at 11am.
National netball coach Thilaka Jinadasa will also see her team take on fellow Group A contestants Malaysia, who were the champions of the 7th Asian Youth Netball Championship in 2010.
"With my past experience at 8th Asian Netball Championship in Colombo last year, I hope with Japan we have a fair chance and with the experience of our previous warm-up games in Singapore I hope that the team will do well," said Jinadasa.
"With Malaysia it will be very tough for Brunei, but we'll definitely gain a lot of experience from that game... It will be like the games we had during the tour (to Singapore in May).
"I hope that we can win against Japan, India and Hong Kong but all these games will be very tough because they will come well prepared.
"My aim is to place second in Group A.
"It is a possible goal, but when it comes to the actual match, we will focus quarter by quarter.
"That's my plan with the whole tournament and we tested it during our Singapore tour.
"Our shooting percentage has also improved over the weeks because now the players know how to overcome and handle the pressure," added the Sri Lankan national who coached her country to victory in the 2009 edition of the Asian Netball Championship
The Under-21 squad will spend their last few days of preparation working on situational plays and pressure drills.
Unfortunately they still have one player who is attending physiotherapy sessions at the Sports Medicine and Research Centre at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, though Jinadasa hopes that she will recover in time.
This year's edition hosts an additional four teams Brunei, Japan, Maldives and Nepal to the previous six
The Singapore Under-21 team will be another team to look out for as they took the runner-up spot with four wins and one loss in the previous tournament.
They also recently defeated the Brunei Under-21 squad 74-13 whilst the national team spent 10 days in Singapore in May for a series of warm-up matches.