Story by Rebecca Yip/Red Sports. Photos by Lee Jian Wei/Red Sports

Eugene Teo (#4) of Singapore and Phandphoung Patipol (#5) of Thailand fight for possession of the ball. (Photo © Lee Jian Wei/Red Sports)

Eugene Teo (#4) of Singapore and Phandphoung Patipol (#5) of Thailand fight for possession of the ball. (Photo 1 © Lee Jian Wei/Red Sports)

OCBC Aquatic Centre, Friday, June 12, 2015 — Thailand were helpless as Singapore trounced them 17–2 in their campaign to win a 26th consecutive water polo gold medal in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. Singapore had earlier beaten Malaysia 19–4 in their opening match.

Thailand’s speed and physicality were no match for Singapore. They had difficulty breaking through Singapore’s tight man-on-man defence and could only score two goals in the entire match, courtesy of Pinit Chaisombat (#4) in the third and fourth quarter.

The game got off to a slow start as Singapore’s first three attempts on goal were duly saved by Thailand’s goalkeeper, Naruedon Niwasakul (#1). The competition’s current top goal scorer, Yip Yang (#11), opened the scoring for the home team midway through the first quarter.

By the second quarter, Singapore proved why they are the kings of the pool in front of a rapturous home crowd. Fast and wide open play by the Singaporeans allowed them to score from in front of the net on multiple occasions, and at times, completely unmarked and unchallenged by the Thai defence.

In the third quarter, Thailand seemed to have finally found their footing as Chaisombat (#4) powered through the Singapore defence to net Thailand’s first goal. This effort was followed by two more attempts at goal by Chaisombat (#4) and Thailand’s captain, Ronnakrit Jarananon (#9).

However, Singapore regained control of the game soon after to easily see off their opponents 17–2 at the final whistle.

Said team captain Eugene Teo of his team’s performance, “I think we did well as a whole. Everyone played up to our game. In our game against Malaysia, we were slightly rusty, but I think it was all part of the coaches’ plan because now we are slowly going up on a high. (Our performance) is getting sharper and better.”

The men next play the Philippines on Sunday, June 14, 2015, at 8pm, and Indonesia on Tuesday, June 16, 2015, at 1.30pm.

On the team’s strategy for their final two matches of the Games, Eugene said, “We are a much fitter, bigger and faster team, so we use will use our fitness and speed to push them (Philippines and Indonesia) to their limits. Even in the first and second quarter (of the match against Thailand) we already pulled away, so this will be our game plan the entire Games.”

Score by Quarter
1st quarter: 4–0
2nd quarter: 6–0 (10–0)
3rd quarter: 5–1 (15–1)
4th quarter: 2–1 (17-2)

Singapore’s Roster
Tay Sin Chao Nigel (#1), Lin Diyang (#2), Loh Zhi Zhi (#3), Teo Zhen Wei Eugene (#4), Ong Wei Loong Bryan (#5), Tan Jwee Ann Paul Louis (#6), Chiam Kunyang (#7), Ang An Jun (#8), Goh Cheng Wei Marcus (#9), Ang Wei Ming Sean (#10), Yip Yang (#11), Koh Jian Ying (#12), Lee Kai Yang (#13)

Thailand’s Roster
Naruedon Niwasakul (#1), Pattanit Chompoosang (#2), Pitipong Ruchisereekul (#3), Pinit Chaisombat (#4), Patipol Phandphoung (#5), Julanut Jintanugool (#6), Meathus Chetamee (#7), Terdtong Klinubol (#8), Ronnakrit Jarananon (#9), Pruetthikorn Khunprathum (#10), Sornthum Wongpairoj (#11), Ekkaphan Jaengprajak (#12), Wanjak Suwanchart (#13)

2015 SEA Games Water Polo – fixtures and results

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