Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Solid showing from Brunei despite Singapore loss
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council, Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Muda ‘Abdul ‘Aleem in a group picture with the national netball team. – BNA

BRUNEI Darussalam national netball team narrowed the gap with reigning holders Singapore in a gutsy performance during a 62-37 loss in the preliminary round of the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA Games) at Juara Stadium Bukit Kiara in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The Royal Bees made a promising start despite getting off on the back-foot after minimising the goal margin by 26 points compared to the previous edition where they were soundly beaten 72-21.

Brunei trailed 8-1 in the opening minutes as Singapore threatened to blow away in a potential repeat of their 19-6 first quarter lead two years ago.

However, not to be outdone, Thilaka Jinadasa’s charges rallied and inspired by Ayin’s shooting accuracy, they trimmed the lead to within four points.

Aware that Brunei are catching up, Singapore only got going in the final three minutes with the perfect finishing by Chairmane Soh ensuring they ended the first quarter in more relaxed mood with a 15-7 lead.

Only 20 points separated between both sides at the conclusion of the third quarter as an improvement from the national team clearly showed.

Brunei’s goal shooter Nur Hafizah binti Haji Abdul Sidek was unfortunate not to get into the score-sheet after receiving from a fine long throw at the final few seconds of the third quarter, after being adjudged of travelling.

With five players that won the SEA Games in home soil in the squad, Singapore played more defensively but not compromising with some precise shooting.

The Royal Bees performed much better in the third quarter at this stage having been down 36-14 compared to two years ago when they trailed by 39-8.

National netball coach Thilaka Jinadasa underlined the urgency to get into the game quickly after seeing her side having to claw their way from a 8-1 deficit in the first quarter.

“We still need to come to our game rhythm soon after the game starts and keep our focus. It takes time for the Brunei players to get into the game sometimes and it’s too late and hard to overcome the score,” said Thilaka.

“It’s good that the Brunei players stick with our game strategies and work on our plan. Shooting combined well with confidence,” the head coach further added.

The Royal Bees matched Singapore 12-12 in the third quarter and encouragingly bagged four goals in the final two minutes or so.

“It was a good intensive (third) quarter since our defence line combined and played well,” said the head coach.

“Today’s game was a good morale booster for the girls to keep up their mind set.”

Brunei will play gold medal favourites Malaysia, who demolished Thailand 73-30, in their next match today.

Courtesy from Borneo Bulletin