By Yvonne Yap and Chan Hui Mui/Red Sports. Pictures by Vanessa Lim/Red Sports
Nurul Baizura (Singapore, WD) fights with India’s WA for possession of the ball. (Photo 1 © Vanessa Lim/Red Sports)
Toa Payoh Indoor Sports Hall, Monday, December 6, 2010 — Singapore achieved a smooth start to the Netball Nations Cup 2010 with a hard fought 58–22 victory over India in their opening game. The hosts, ranked 19th in the world, were six rankings above their opponents and sealed their expected victory.
Both teams started off the game cagily, choosing to test the waters by making more passes in the first quarter. Tan Hui Yan (GS) started off a 6-0 run for Singapore before Rupinder Kaur (GA) chalked up a point for India. The hosts pressed on, forcing India to call for a timeout with less than six minutes to go in the opening quarter to collect themselves at 2-12 down. The visitors managed to chalk up more points before the quarter ended, but Singapore still held an 18-5 lead at the conclusion of the first quarter.
Singapore went on an 18-5 run in the second quarter as well, with both sides opening up their play with longer passes and runs. The hosts focused more on their attack, intercepting the Indians while they tried to press towards their goal. Even though India had more chances to score points, they were unable to convert their opportunities in front of the basket. The half ended 36-10 to Singapore.
In the second half, both sides made substitutions to the team and switched the players’ various positions. This proved to be a wise decision for India as they managed to hold Singapore back, preventing the hosts from scoring as many points as they did in the previous quarters. India took another timeout to make a substitution at 4:43, with the score at 46-13 to Singapore. However, they could only add a point to their score, allowing Singapore to score three more to end the quarter at 50-14.
Singapore decided to introduce their younger players to the game during the last quarter, with 20-year-old Cassandra Soh (GS) and Nurul Baizura (WA) taking positions on court. India took advantage of this and managed to maintain the score difference from the previous quarter. The Indians took bolder moves and went more on the attack, but still had to concede the game 58-22 to Singapore eventually.
“The girls, they have less exposure (than Singapore). They played the last quarter very well,” Indian coach Amit Sharma said about his team. He also revealed that Prachi Tehlan, Rupinder Kaur, Santosh Jakhar and Kavitha B.J. were fresh from the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi two months ago.
Singapore captain Lin Qingyi felt that her team got off to a good start, noting that they used their speed as an advantage and could have wrapped up the final quarter better.
“In the last quarter, we had our young players and the team worked well together. India gave us a good fight in the last quarter,” said Qingyi.
Singapore will next face world ranked 23rd Tanzania on Tuesday, December 7th, at 6pm while India will take on Wales at 8pm.
Tan Hui Yan (Singapore, GS) concentrates on making the shot. (Photo 2 © Vanessa Lim/Red Sports)
Li Ling (Singapore, GA) tries to intercept the ball from India’s GD. (Photo 3 © Vanessa Lim/Red Sports)
The fight for possession of the ball goes low. (Photo 4 © Vanessa Lim/Red Sports)
Vanessa Lee (Singapore, WD) intercepts the ball. (Photo 5 © Vanessa Lim/Red Sports)
Charlene Porima (Singapore, C) fails to intercept the pass. (Photo 6 © Vanessa Lim/Red Sports)
Pearline Chan (singapore, WA) tries to catch a long pass. (Photo 7 © Vanessa Lim/Red Sports)
Tan Hui Yan (Singapore, GS) aims for a shot as India’s GK tries to block from behind. (Photo 8 © Vanessa Lim/Red Sports)
Charlene Porima (Singapore, C) throws a pass to Singapore WD. (Photo 9 © Vanessa Lim/Red Sports)