THE national netball team continued their winning form at the 9th Asian Youth Netball Championships by defeating Chinese Taipei 50-37 in plate competition yesterday.
Ranked sixth in the tournament, Brunei came into the game with a high level of confidence after having beaten fifth-ranked Thailand 43-39 at the Macpherson Stadium in Mong Kok, Hong Kong, on Thursday.
Despite the victory, national netball coach Thilaka Jinadasa felt that the team still needs to work on certain areas. "We lost our lead in the game every time we lost our center passes," said Jinadasa in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday. "Our players need to consider a lot of things whenever making passes in the middle of the court… We could lose points easily if we are not focused.
"We definitely need to work on our centre passes and we also need to maintain our focus and consistency," she added. Brunei had a tough start against the non-ranked Chinese Taipei, leading only by a point (9-8) going into the second quarter. The Royal Bees stepped up their game in the second and third period to open up a 37-24 lead heading into the final stanza.
Chinese Taipei controlled the final-quarter scoring 13 points, but it was not enough to put them back into the game. "We had a very tough start but I expected that from a new team like Chinese Taipei," continued Jinadasa. "I already advised all my players to stay focused until the end… Chinese Taipei's players were all fit so we did not want to give them a chance to control the play,"
"Overall, it was a very good team performance today and all the players worked very hard - and their spirit were there," "We still have two games left to play… So we must keep this good momentum going," added the Sri Lankan. The national team will go up against ninth-ranked Japan in their third and final match of the plate competition today. The finals and playoffs to decide the new rankings will be held tomorrow.
Brunei are grouped alongside Japan, Thailand and Chinese Taipei in the plate competition. Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore and host Hong Kong are in the trophy cup, the main event of the tournament. Meanwhile, India, Maldives and non-ranked Pakistan and Abu Dhabi - who finished last in their respective groups - are competing for the bowl title.