PERSISTENCE won as Singapore’s Reign Rovers wrest the ASEAN Games netball title from defending champions Phoenix from Malaysia. Kai Yi Wong brings you highlights from the finals at the Albert Park Indoor Sports Centre.
Third time is a charm for Singapore netball team Reign Rovers who fought and snatched the championship from familiar adversary and title defender, Malaysian team, Phoenix, after a thrilling match at the ASEAN Games 2014.
Before the finals at the Albert Park Indoor Sports Centre, the mood in the Reign Rovers camp was confident and relaxed, with members from team Phoenix looking more subdued, their body language tense and focused.
Speaking to Meld before the match, Reign Rovers team captain Haley Chow said her team had been doing well and they expected a strong game from Phoenix.
“So far this year, we’ve been doing well. We won a game against Phoenix who are the defending champions for the past two years, and we are quite confident against them for the finals later,” she said.
Reign Rovers did not disappoint as they scored the first goal two minutes into the match. Phoenix returned fire almost immediately with Goal Attack (GA) Shen Ting equalising.
With two minutes left on the clock on the first quarter, the goal difference was 8 with a 10-2 scoreline to the Reign Rovers.
It was clear that the Reign Rovers was bringing the fight to Phoenix. Keen to rise from the ashes, Phoenix charged out to score the first goal of the second quarter.
Six minutes into the game, the score was 12-6, with Phoenix slowly catching up with the Reign Rovers with skillful, fast, aggressive play.
With 45 seconds left on the clock, GA Shen Ting of Phoenix scored, boosting the score to 18-9 at half time.
It was a fast and furious start to the third quarter, with two goals in straight succession to Reign Rovers’s Goal Attack. Phoenix, tried as they might, failed to make an impact as the goal difference widened.
Phoenix put up a valiant fight in the fourth quarter, but the Reign Rovers nevertheless emerged victorious with a 39-15 score which showed amazing teamwork throughout the game.
Despite their loss and exhaustion from four consecutive games, Phoenix’s goalkeeper Adeline Foo was nonetheless happy with her team’s performance.
This would be the last year the team would be playing together, and it was heartening to see them do their best, she said.
“It’s our last game for most of us because we’ve played in this competition for three years now and most of us are graduating at the end of the year,” she said.
“It’s nice that we played our best for this last match and not give up, so that’s good.”