Team Singapore netballer Charmaine Soh shooting during the Mission Foods Nations Cup 2016. Photo: Sport Singapore
Team Singapore narrowly missed out on the bronze medal at the Mission Foods Nations Cup 2016 as the netball girls lost to Botswana 41-47 at the OCBC Arena on Saturday.
After a shaky start, the hosts made a comeback to within two points of the visitors, but failed to keep up the pressure despite roaring support from the crowd in the arena.
Despite the fourth placing, co-captain Nurul Baizura was heartened by the result from the new-look Singapore team.
“I must say I’m quite satisfied, because knowing that three senior players retired and these players are all key players, and having some new ones on court – some young bloods and new to the international netball scene,” she said.
Team Singapore netballer Nurul Baizura in action. Photo: Sport Singapore
Having lost former captain Micky Lin, Premila Hirubalan and Chen Huifen to retirement in May, the team was left with a sizeable void in experience and skill. However, Baizura said the new players stepped up well to compensate for the loss of key players.
“It’s really nice to see that these girls are filling up the shoes of the senior players and to see that they are coping very well,” she said.
Baizura highlighted the efforts of Shina Teo and Josephine Yeo who have duly delivered when given the chance to play on court.
“When given the instructions on the bench that she was needed to cover the wing attack, she really executed the game plan well and gave that boost to our defensive line,” Baizura said about Yeo, who is a relatively new addition to the team.
Yeo, herself, looks up to Baizura and is looking to constantly learn from the veteran player.
“There has been great guidance from our own centre Nurul Baizura, who has been playing centre for quite a while,” the 25-year-old said.
“Baizura always has this flair about herself. She has very good instincts on court, which is something I need to slowly pick up along the way with more games exposure.”
Playing in her second Nations Cup, Yeo feels this experience will go a long way in helping her improve her game.
Team Singapore netballer Josephine Yeo. Photo: Sport Singapore
“For myself, it has been a great exposure coming into the main national team this year. Also, to be learning from the best is a good experience for me,” she said.
Newcomers Zambia proved experience wasn’t all that crucial as they took home top honours at this year’s Nations Cup beating out Papua New Guinea 65-49 in the final match.
Organising large scale events involving multiple international countries such as the Nations Cup is never an easy task, and such events would not have been possible without the help of Team NILA volunteers, who have once again offered their time to make this competition a smooth and successful one.
Teo Eng Huat, who helped out as an usher, said volunteering brings a multitude of benefits, and more importantly, he enjoys himself while doing so.
“I feel that by helping others, we can make ourselves happier. Besides that, we can learn a lot of things from the event itself,” he said.
“And we can also make a lot of friends, and share our good experiences volunteering with youngsters.”
Mission Foods Nations Cup 2016 playlist: