TEAM Phoenix from Malaysia are the ASEAN Games Australia 2012 netball champions. But as Chong Lishan reports, the competition couldn’t have been decided in a more heartbreaking manner.
The ASEAN Games Australia (AGA) 2012 netball tournament had teams Net-A-Baller, Phoenix, Saffron, and Tigers, from Malaysia, and Team Reign Rovers, from Singapore, fight it out in a round-robin to be crowned the AGA 2012 netball champions.
The competition went all the way to the final series of matches with Phoenix and Reign Rovers still in the hunt for the ultimate glory.
But in the end, it was the Malaysians who pipped the Singaporeans to the post by the slimmest of margins.
Team Reign Rovers needed a massive haul of goals in their last match against Team Net-A-Baller to beat Team Phoenix in the standings – and right from the get-go, the Singaporeans’ intent were clear.
At the first interval, a tired Team Reign Rovers still managed to build an 11-goal advantage against their opponents.
During the second period of the match, the lead extended to 18 goals, largely courtesy of Singaporean goal shooter, Qiao Wei.
However, Reign Rovers’ quest for more goals to snatch the AGA 2012 netball title was abruptly terminated.
Their relentless pressure on the opposing goal ring caused a few Team Net-A-Baller injuries, such as leg cramps. These injuries began taking a toll on the Malaysians, and minutes into the third quarter, they decided to forfeit the match.
Although Reign Rovers were awarded 10 goals for their opposition’s actions, it still wasn’t enough to surpass Team Phoenix’s position.
Team Phoenix’s players were ecstatic about winning the tournament and team captain, Mok Shen Ting, said they had performed exceptionally well despite having only two months to prepare for the event.
“Even though we had our ups and downs, we managed to come together as a team and put on a strong performance,” she said.
Although Qiao Wei was disappointed her team’s final match was cut short, she understood safety was paramount.
“Every team demonstrated really good fighting spirit and this is one of the most exciting games I have participated in,” she said.