Singapore back to winning ways with 58-36 victory over Cook Islands in netball Nations Cup
After suffering a narrow defeat by Papua New Guinea on the opening day of the Mirxes Nations Cup, Singapore were determined to return to winning ways.
The world No. 26 side did just that on Monday as they put aside that disappointment loss to register a dominant 58-36 victory over 19th-ranked Cook Islands at the OCBC Arena.
Midfielder Angelina Lim said: “Coming off from the loss yesterday, everyone was really psyched up for this game, we had to do it the hard way like Annette said because of that loss.
“Morale was up there, we had the same mindset to just focus on the full 60 minutes of this game and give it our all, to be hungrier for each ball and really contest to get more balls.”
The first quarter was close initially, with the score tied at 7-7 until sharp shooting by Singapore and mistakes from their opponents allowed the hosts to lead 20-13.
That seven-point advantage was extended to 32-19 at half-time. The Republic continued their dominance after the interval and widened the gap to 47-26 after three periods.
The final quarter saw Singapore ease off somewhat, though they still outscored Cook Island 11-10 as they completed a one-sided victory.
Goal shooter Amandeep Kaur Chahal, who converted 91 per cent of her attempts, said: “The whole team’s mindset in general for today was to come back stronger and prove a point that we’re here to win.
“We were able to stick to our game plan that we put out this morning and I’m very proud of them for sticking through with it throughout all four quarters – even when changes were made, we were pretty smooth.”
Going into Monday’s match, Singapore head coach Annette Bishop said the team wanted to eradicate the “soft errors” that had cost them against the Papuans.
The Kiwi said: “Cook Islands brings a different style to us. We’ve been up against PNG and we were trying to minimise our errors today, just have good clean ball and deny Cook Islands because once they go on their run, they’ve got that natural flair so we had to shut that down really quickly.”
Cook Islands team manager Tekura Moekaa said the squad, who last played in the Nations Cup in 2019, comprised a mix of experienced players and up-and-coming ones, including 16-year-old Mere-Jean Tekea-Tongiakiri Piri.
Owing to Covid-19 and financial restrictions, they were unable to make it to the last edition of the Nations Cup in 2022.
The team see the 2023 edition as an opportunity to prepare for the Nov 19-Dec 2 Pacific Games and are also hoping to finish on the podium in Singapore.
Moekaa said: “We started off strong, we stuck to our qualities and structure and we were putting up a really good fight, especially in our defensive end but unfortunately it was inconsistent throughout the game so structures fell off, policies fell off.
“Because of that, Singapore capitalised on those unforced errors, poor decision making so that’s something we have to go back to the drawing board to address.”
Captain Marjorie Katrina Toru added: “We’ve got a fresh team, a lot of Under-21s in our team so I’m pretty stoked with the performance so far from our girls.”
In the other matches on Monday, Singapore A, a developmental side, beat Sri Lanka 62-51, while Papua New Guinea made it two wins in two with a 52-34 triumph over Canada.