Singapore deny Malaysia final spot at M1 Asian Netball Championships

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Singapore took the win against Malaysia 51-43 to meet Sri Lanka in the finals of the M1 Asian Netball Championships, after Sri Lanka came out victorious against Hong Kong 55-46.

As the top two teams, finalists Singapore and Sri Lanka have automatically qualified for the Netball World Cup 2019 in Liverpool, England.

 Following a single goal win to Singapore over Malaysia in their last match-up, another tight contest unfolded between the two.

The game kicked off with an early tip from Singapore captain Vanessa Lee, followed by an intercept from centurion Nurul Baizura.

However a missed shot from Lee Pei Shan and a wayward pass into her allowed Malaysia to draw the scores level. Singapore finished the quarter strongly thanks to an impressive attacking and defensive display, taking it 16-11.

An early footwork error from Malaysia Centre Nurfariha Abdul Razak allowed Singapore to secure a 2-0 quarter lead. However, several mistakes from Singapore allowed Malaysia to come back strongly for a 12-5 quarter lead.

Singapore fought back late in the quarter to narrow the gap but the quarter still ended in Malaysia’s favour 14-10.

Malaysia flexed their muscles in the early part of the third quarter, with their defence picking up several tips and intercepts.

Singapore National Coach Natalie Milicich put Toh Kai Wei on court in a bid to switch things up in Singapore’s shooting end. Malaysia edged the third quarter by 2 goals (10-8) to take the lead in the game.

Trailing the game by a single goal at the start of the fourth quarter, Singapore fought hard to establish themselves in the final 15 minutes and took the overall victory.

Three successive rebounds from Singapore’s defenders Melody Teo and Chen Lili off missed shots from the Malaysian shooters saw Singapore stretch out to a lead midway through the quarter, and they successfully held on to take the quarter 17-8 and the overall victory 51-43.

On the win, captain Vanessa Lee said: “I was happy with the process that we had to get to the win – the connections that we had on court and we really played as one today.”

To tomorrow’s finals against Sri Lanka, she added: “Believing we can take the win is the first step. If we play like how we did today, we will be ok against Sri Lanka.”

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