Historic loss for Singapore water polo team
Yesterday's 7-5 defeat by Indonesia halts their unbeaten record and likely to end their reign as 27-time SEA Games champions
Singapore's proudest record at the SEA Games - 27 consecutive gold medals in men's water polo - looks set to end at this edition in the Philippines.
Dejan Milakovic's charges lost 7-5 to arch-rivals Indonesia in their round-robin match yesterday at the New Clark City Aquatics Centre.
The defeat, the Republic's first since the sport made its SEA Games debut in 1965, leaves them three points behind leaders Indonesia, who have one game left.
Singapore will be out of the running for gold, should Indonesia beat Malaysia today.
Milakovic, 37, was apologetic for the historic defeat.
"Yes, we are all aware that's the first loss ever at the Games. It's a sport, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose," he said.
"This record was very long and, unfortunately, today wasn't our day.
"We are very sorry about it, all of us, but we are already looking ahead to the game tomorrow to give our best and try to get a better performance..."
Former Singapore captain Loh Zhi Zhi added: "There is no certainty in sport. We can't say for sure that we will win every game, though we aspire to hit such standards.
"(Upsets and disappointments) are part of the beauty of sport."
Milakovic admitted that Indonesia were deserving winners and expects that they will be too much for Malaysia today.
"We couldn't solve the problems they gave us especially in defence, so they controlled the game from second quarter," the Serb said.
"As for our attack, we definitely missed Wayne Chong (due to injury), but that is not an excuse.
"We tried a few things today, but they weren't working and the side got a bit nervous.
"We had a lot of shots, but managed a very low percentage of the shooting. Honestly, they deserved to win today."
Added Singapore captain Koh Jian Ying: "The Indonesia team played very well today and took their chances, while we didn't.
"We made some mistakes and paid heavily for them. This defeat hurts, but we do not have time to sink into it because there are two matches more.
"We will take this as a source of motivation to play our best for the rest of the SEA Games."
Singapore have two points after their 17-5 win over Malaysia on Wednesday.
They will take on the hosts today before concluding their SEA Games campaign against Thailand on Sunday.
The Philippines are in second on three points after yesterday's 7-4 win over Thailand.