SINGAPORE — The 103-3 scoreline reflected Singapore's dominance over an inexperienced and undersized Japan team, as the hosts expectedly got off to a winning start at the Asian Netball Championship at OCBC Arena on Saturday (3 September).
However, the big win was marred by the sight of veteran goal shooter Charmaine Soh limping off the court in the second quarter with a knee injury, making her a major doubt for the remainder of the tournament.
"At this moment we're unsure of the seriousness of her injury, but she was able to walk with a crutch after the match," said head coach Annette Bishop.
Her teammates rallied around her as they overwhelmed the Japanese team, swarming their opponents in centre court and repeatedly forcing turnovers that turned into fast breaks for easy baskets.
Co-captain and goal attack Toh Kai Wee, who put on an excellent performance before being substituted by Amandeep Kaur at half-time, could even drop in three uncontested lay-ups as she outran her marker numerous times.
Flow went quite well, said co-captain
Loud cheers rang through the arena when Singapore hit the 100-point mark, and got even louder when Amandeep netted the final point for the 100-point winning margin.
"Given that it's the first game, and especially with a home crowd, there definitely was a little bit of excitement and nerves involved there," said co-captain Khor Ting Fang.
"There are some parts where the flow went quite well, in terms of the way we brought the ball down the court."
Singapore will next play the Maldives on Sunday, and a win will put them as winners of Pool B before moving to the second round of group matches.
The Asian Netball Championship is the first international competition for the Singapore team since the 2019 SEA Games and is also a qualifying tournament for the 2023 Netball World Cup.
The top two teams will book their place at next year's World Cup, which will be held in Cape Town, South Africa.
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