Brunei goal attack
Nursyuhaidah Fahiryana (R)
defends against a Maldives
player during the 8th Asian
Youth Netball Championships
at the Indoor Stadium of
the Hassanal Bolkiah
National Sports Complex.
Picture: BT file
National netball coach Thilaka Jinadasa was left ruing injuries and a lack of focus for the national Under-21 team's inability to secure fourth at the recent 10-team 8th Asian Youth Netball Championship.
After six months of choosing and meshing a team of the best netball players in Brunei, the country was only able to finish sixth during the June 30-July 7 regional meet.
It was a great start for the national side when they won their opening game against Japan 48-26 at the Indoor Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
However, the following day proved to be unlucky for them when Hong Kong stole a close game 38-34.
Their third match-up of the competition was an easy 56-30 win for them when they took out India despite their slight height advantage.
In their final group game that could have found them a spot in the semi-final, the Under-21 team played reigning champions Malaysia a match they lost 50-19.
They started off their second round with a 82-18 demolition of Maldives and faced Thailand in their final game of the championship, where they fell to a 53-34 defeat to land in sixth overall.
"If my shooter wasn't injured and the girls were focused enough to hold onto it, I could have achieved my goal and got fourth," said Jinadasa recently.
"Less experience and confidence in shooting can cost the game, but we as coaches feel really helpless when they keep on missing their shots.
"I work a lot of extra hours with my shooters.
"The Bruneian players mentality still doesn't suit the international level and the commitment is not there yet," added the Sri Lankan who coached her country to victory in the 2009 edition of the Asian Netball Championship.
The tournament saw participation from Brunei, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Maldives, Japan, Hong Kong and Nepal.
Along their journey to the competition, the Under-21 team spent 10 days in Singapore on a warm-up tour which saw them win six, draw one and lose one game to local sides.
Following their return they took part in the VIII Setia Motors Netball Championship, which they won after going undefeated en-route to the final.