A Hong Kong player takes
aim during yesterday's
match. Hong Kong won the
tight encounter 38-34.
Picture: BT/Syarif Rasani
It took everything Hong Kong had to edge the Brunei Under-21 team 38-34 in the 8th Asian Youth Netball Championship yesterday.
There was barely a moment to breathe in the highly competitive game, both teams matching one another from tip off.
There was nothing in between the two squads in the first few minutes but Hong Kong managed to distance themselves by two points at 7-5 with four minutes left in the first half.
Brunei's defensive duo of national Under-21 captain Dk Nur Hafizah Amirah Pg Md Jali and Nur Afiqah Samat put on their best performance of the competition thus far, only letting the opponents score eight past them.
This gave the Sultanate a 10-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. The close battle continued into the second at the Indoor Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Eventually Hong Kong took the chance and secured a four point lead in the final five minutes of the first half.
Brunei did their best to fight back but could only close the gap to two points.
A lapse in concentration would see Brunei give up foul after foul, giving Hong Kong more chances at the net.
Hong Kong went on to finish the second quarter strongly, opening up a 21-16.
Brunei came out firing in the third quarter sinking four straight shots to cut the score deficit to 21-20.
Brunei's supporters roared their support for the Under-21 team who responded by keeping pace with their opponents.
They went into the fourth with Hong Kong up 28-26.
Brunei carried on trailing behind Hong Kong by two in the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter, the scores now reading 34-32.
The excitement in the arena built up in the last three minutes of the game, with Brunei behind 36-33.
Unfortunately for Brunei, Hong Kong weren't ready to back down either and they kept their steady play to close out the match 38-34.
"It was a tight battle and we knew they would be a tough game with the home crowed supporting them," said Hong Kong head coach Connie Wong.
"Brunei came out really hard and played a really good game and as you could see they were really passionate about it.
"It took a while for the girls to get used to the noise but they eventually found the rhythm.
"We had a game plan going but it took us a while to get to it.
"We need to win our next match against Japan because we want to try to get into the top four, which is something we've never done before in the Asian Youth Netball.
"We don't go into any games thinking it will be easy.
"We go into them hard and stick to our game plan," said Wong.
Malaysia demolished India 85-20, Sri Lanka defeated Thailand 77-41 and Singapore thrashed Nepal 109-4 in yesterday's matches.
Sri Lanka will play Maldives at 11am, Thailand will face Nepal at 2.30pm, Brunei will go against India at 4.30pm and Malaysia will take on Japan at 7.30pm today.