The national netball team are powering through their training during Ramadhan to make sure they are properly prepared for the 9th Asian Netball Championship in Singapore.
National coach Thilaka Jinadasa told The Brunei Times that they will train as usual, six days a week, since the September 7-14 tournament is just two months away. "The training time will be different with respect to fasting and gym availability," noted Jinadasa.
The national squad will have court sessions on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 6pm. They will also have one gym session on Tuesday from 9pm-11pm and are planning to hold circuit training using their own equipment on Thursday as the gym shuts early.
"It's very important to keep the rhythm going with the training in the last stages... and after the second week of July, I am planning one or two friendly games with the club teams just to practice the teams strategies," said Jinadasa.
Jinadasa is also looking to organise a few warm up games in Kuala Lumpur. "The secretary of the national team is negotiating with the Malaysian Netball Association at the moment," noted Jinadasa.
"Hopefully it will work well since it's very important to play before the main competition to allow players to test themselves," added Jinadasa. To date, the national side have won six exposure games.
Their first matches saw them head over to Kota Kinabalu, where they won four games in the span of two days against Sabah's Under-21 and senior squad in May. They outplayed the Under-21 team 55-36 before sealing a tight 41-37 win against the senior team.
The second day the national team took out the Under-21 side 51-21 and the senior team 47-29. Their final two games were played against the Singapore Sports School's Under-16 squad at the Sports School in Berakas last month.
The national team won 37-29 in their first clash and then improved their scoreline to 45-25 in their second. The final trials for the final 12 players will be held on August 5.
Following the trials, the selection committee will nominate three standby players who will also take part in the exposure tour to Malaysia. Brunei made their debut at the Asian championships during the 8th edition in 2012 which was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The team headed into the tournament ranked 10 in last place but returned with an impressive sixth place finish. Their participation saw them finish with two wins, one draw and three losses.
They demolished Pakistan 91-13, edged Japan 46-38 and drew 26-26 with Maldives. The national squad's losses came at the hands of Malaysia (71-11), India (52-39) and eventual champions Singapore (76-18).