Malaysian netballers send warning to Singapore ahead of today's crunch tie
Arch-rivals Malaysia run riot, 'more than ready' for tonight's Causeway Derby
Norashikin Kamalzaman patted a couple of her teammates on the back before taking up position near the D.
She looked up at the scoreboard at the OCBC Arena, and nodded her head, well pleased.
The score was 100-11, with nearly four minutes left.
Malaysia's goal shooter Norashikin and her teammates weren't done with the Philippines, either, eventually scoring 12 more goals to make it 112-11 at the end of their Pool match.
They are on a mission in this SEA Games and this was all about issuing a statement of intent.
Malaysia are the only country to win a netball gold at the Games, crowned champions the only time the event featured in 2001 in Kuala Lumpur.
They beat Singapore in the final 14 years ago, and the two big guns of South-east Asia will meet tonight in a blockbuster clash that many regard as a dress rehearsal of the final.
Speaking to The New Paper, Norashikin, who scored 61 goals out of 66 attempts yesterday, said: "I'm really happy with my performance, really satisfied.
"What's better is that we won big, and we gave a performance that will give Singapore something to think about.
"When we face Singapore, we'll give it our best, as we always do. We are close rivals and matches between us are always close affairs.
"We know each other's strengths and weaknesses, so it's going to be a very tight game. But our performance tonight shows that we're more than ready."
Malaysia raced into a 31-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The scoreline swelled to 61-3 by half-time, with the Malaysians eventually romping to the largest win of this SEA Games so far.
Coach Aminah Asaari feels tonight's game will be decided by the slimmest of margins.
"We have to really take our chances," she said. "It'll be down to who makes the fewest mistakes. That team will win.
"I hope my players can show their ability and continue from this fine performance."
Singapore, the reigning Asian champions and hot favourites to win gold on home soil, played out a 65-24 win over Thailand last night, with coach Ruth Aitken withdrawing key individuals like Premila Hirubalan, Nurul Baizura and Charmaine Soh after the second half in a bid to ensure fresh legs tonight.
"Taking them out was all about giving them some rest before the Malaysia match, and also to give the others a run out," said the Kiwi.
"That's what's important for the team, because everyone needs to be on the same wavelength so that they can understand one another's plays.
"You could see some good combinations and passing movements, so that bodes well as we face Malaysia."
Defender Hirubalan, the only player from the squad to have played in the heartbreaking 2001 final, knows what the team need to win.
Said the 32-year-old: "We had good and bad patches throughout our game, and that needs to go.
"Our passing can be inaccurate at times, and we cannot let that turn into an advantage for the Malaysians.
"But either way, we're quietly confident. It's not about revenge, really.
"I don't think about all that any more.
"But it's definitely going to feel like a final in itself."
YESTERDAY’S OTHER NETBALL RESULTS:
Singapore 65 Thailand 24
Brunei 56 Myanmar 47
TODAY AT THE OCBC ARENA:
1.30pm: Myanmar v Philippines
3.30pm: Thailand v Brunei
7pm: Singapore v Malaysia (Tickets sold out)