Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Brunei lose to Thailand in final group clash
Friday, August 18, 2017
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, President of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council and Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah in a group photo with the National Netball team, – INFOFOTO

BRUNEI Darussalam National Netball team ended their preliminary round with a 51-39 defeat to Thailand in the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the Juara Stadium Bukit Kiara in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The national team, who were gunning to finish third in the group remained in fourth place following their third defeat but looked to have done enough to secure a berth in the last four.

There was little separating both sides in the first quarter as Thailand edged it 15-12 but the damage was done in the second quarter when the Thais opened up a 10-point lead and limited the Royal Bees to only five points.

Brunei made expected changes to the squad that started against the Philippines with Nur Hafizah binti Haji Abdul Sidek returning to first-team action in the goal shooter position.

Thailand’s Pakladathanan Thiratananitiworachot was inserted in the goal shooter position with Thidaporn Sutthachip making way while Bunwilai Thongma returned to her usual position in goal defence.

Brunei held their centre pass at the start of the first quarter and an obstruction allowed a free effort as Nur Hafizah binti Haji Abdul Sidek provided a good start with the opening point.

Thailand responded quickly with a high lob pass to their goal shooter Pakladathanan who made no mistake with the conversion as they restored parity.

Brunei’s goal attack Siti Marhayati helped regain her side the lead before Pakladathanan converted another goal in a similar response.

The decision was awarded Thailand’s way after footwork was called against Nur Hafizah and then an obstruction which followed consequently meant the player had to move out of the way allowing an initiative for the opposing team.

But Thailand still needed work to pierce the Brunei defence with centre Pacharee Sangjan in inspiring form.

The lob pass tactic has worked well for the Thais coupled with their assured control and balance which in turn caused the Brunei chargers a multitude of problems.

However, Pakladathanan uncharacteristically missed her initial attempt and the rebound which fell to her team-mate before getting a second bite of the cherry to put her side 1-0 up in the second quarter.

The usually clinical Nur Hafizah missed the chance to reduce the gap to six points in the second quarter and despite keeping the rebound the ball fell to Thailand who employed the all too familiar lob pass tactic as Pakladathanan increased her side’s lead.

The Royal Bees were caught in possession as Thailand poured the ball forward as they opened a double digit lead for the first time in the tie.

Brunei’s wing attack Zuraidah provided a great pass for Nur Hafizah but unfortunately the latter failed to convert as Thailand ran away with the ball.

Thailand’s centre Pacharee Sangjan provided the perfect lob pass for an umpteenth time and Pakladathanan completed the move with a fine finish.

Brunei received a respite after the umpire ruled an arm contact but unfortunately they coughed off possession enabling Thailand to launch another attack but this time their lob pass tactic was broken down with Pakladathanan lurking.

National netball coach Thilaka Jinadasa took off Nur Hafizah and introduced Nur Ady Elzza Ezrenna Sofian as goal shooter who converted Brunei’s first point of the third quarter.

Despite Pakladathanan missing the chance to stop the rot whereby Brunei led 5-3 in the third quarter, the Thais made sure that they collected the loose ball as they took full advantage of Brunei’s fourth infringement.

Brunei made a risky cross court pass which invited danger and so it proved as the Thais were quick to seize the ball mid-air as Pakladathanan was offered an easy opportunity in a silver platter.

Brunei held their nerve to close the third quarter with a 11-9 score but they were not able to turn it around as a result of the damage in the second quarter.

The Royal Bees, who are certain to progress to the semi-finals barring a miracle for the Philippines, is likely to face Malaysia in the semi-finals.

Thailand will face Singapore possibly in confident mood that they could register a win while unbeaten Malaysia will play Philippines who could surpass the 91 total that Singapore have bested against them.

The Siklab Pilipinas suffered an emphatic 91-22 defeat to the reigning holders in an earlier match.

Courtesy from Borneo Bulletin