Mr Ang Wei Neng, President, Volleyball Association of Singapore, draws Singapore at the official 28th SEA Games team draw. Photo: SINGSOC
The draw for three sports - Football, Volleyball and Waterpolo - at the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games was officially held on April 15 at the Singapore Sports Hub.
Singapore Chef de Mission Mr Nicholas Fang said the results from the draws for the three sports did not come as much of a surprise, given the size of the competition.
“Maybe volleyball and football were a little bit more complicated given the number of teams but I think in general they would be happy,” he said.
“More importantly for Singapore, we're looking at our own individual preparations and the way we're gearing up for all the competitions...if we want to make it to the end, we have to beat everyone who is in our path.”
In Football, probably the most anticipated event at the Games, Singapore avoided defending champions Thailand by virtue of being the host nation. This means that Singapore cannot be grouped together with the last Games’ football champions. Thailand is in Group B and Singapore in Group A.
Singapore also dodged traditional rivals Malaysia who are grouped together with Vietnam, Laos, Brunei and Timor Leste.
At the end of the draw, Group A saw Myanmar, Cambodia and Philippines join Singapore. Runners-up for the last two consecutive SEA Games Indonesia completed Group A.
Final groupings for the 28th SEA Games football event. Photo: SINGSOC
“We're happy with the draw, even though Group B looks tougher. However we cannot underestimate any opponents in our group, we will definitely take a ‘one game at a time approach’,” Singapore coach Aide Iskandar said.
“We're hoping the home support from our fans will inspire these players over here to do well in our group games.”
Aide also said that his side cannot afford to assume guaranteed qualification for the next round even though they have the relatively easier draw.
“I wouldn't want to be complacent, we wouldn't want to write anybody off, and we want to make sure we don't underestimate anyone,” he added.
He added that Indonesia and Myanmar will probably be the toughest opponents for Singapore.
“But again, sometimes the easiest opponents could be our toughest match,” he said.
For Singapore’s volleyball men’s team, they will face a tough task trying to make the semi-finals in their first appearance at the Games after a 25-year absence.
They were drawn alongside Vietnam and Indonesia in Group B. Cambodia rounded up the group. Vietnam were bronze medallists in the 2013 Games while Indonesia finished in second place there.
“We're trying our best, and the team has been training really hard. They will be going to Thailand in the later part of this month to compete with some teams and for training,” Volleyball Association of Singapore President Mr Ang Wei Neng.
He added that the team will also begin training full time from May.
Final groupings for the Men's Volleyball. Photo: SINGSOC
Over in Women’s Volleyball, seven participating teams were drawn into two groups of four and three teams each. Singapore exercised its right as the host nation to choose which group it could be drawn into and in a tactical move, it opted to be in Group A. Group A consisted of only two other teams - Myanmar and, 11-time Gold medallists Thailand.
Singapore also opted to play Myanmar as their last match as Mr Ang believes this will be the decider in Group A that determines which team qualifies for the semi-finals.
“For the women's team, we are in group a which has three teams, so we've to beat at least a team to get to the semi-finals,” Mr Ang said.
Group B saw Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and, Vietnam grouped together.
The men’s and women’s waterpolo teams will play Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia in a round-robin format.
Tickets for Netball and Volleyball go on sale on Tuesday, April 21, at 10am. Tickets for Basketball and Football will be available from 10am on May 6.
Get your tickets at our ticketing portal.
Check out the highlights from the official 28th SEA Games Team Draw here: