Singapore stun higher-ranked Cook Islands 59-47, keep Netball Nations Cup final hopes alive

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
Singapore's Aqilah Andin (left) battles for the ball with Cook Islands' Maeva Carr during their Netball Nations Cup match at OCBC Arena. (PHOTO: Netball Singapore)
Singapore's Aqilah Andin (left) battles for the ball with Cook Islands' Maeva Carr during their Netball Nations Cup match at OCBC Arena. (PHOTO: Netball Singapore)

SINGAPORE — The Singapore national netball team, ranked 28th in the world, notched an upset 59-47 victory over world No. 12 Cook Islands in the Netball Nations Cup at OCBC Arena on Wednesday (23 October).

Following up on their victory over world No. 25 Ireland on Tuesday, the hosts again jumped out to a strong 14-7 first-quarter lead. Unlike the Ireland match in which coach Natalie Milicich was unsatisfied with their inconsistency, Singapore maintained their intensity throughout the match and Cook Islands failed to narrow the deficit despite being a constant threat.

And Milicich was full of praise for her charges this time around. “I am very proud that we really implemented our game plan, we knew what we had to do, especially defensively,” she said.

“It was really important today to convert all those opportunities that we did get to build a lead and once we had it, we have really been working on how we can keep it, I felt that we did that today. We still need to re-gather and see what we can work with on the results we have today. We played a good game but not a perfect game.”

Captain and goal shooter Charmaine Soh had a stellar game with a 93 per cent shooting accuracy, making 42 of 45 shot attempts.

“We know that the game will be very important because it will determine whether we will be in the finals, so we had to beat them at this game. I played them a few years ago and they were really tough,” she said.

“We came into this game with the mentality to go all out, which is to start strong and maintain possession, maintain passes, to stay calm, composed and any balls that they intercept will just be a bonus.

“This is our second win (in the tournament), which is really amazing. This will help to keep our spirits high. The game on Friday will be another challenge for us to have another win. So if we win we can hopefully look into to the finals if it’s meant for us.”

After four days of competition. Namibia – who beat Papua New Guinea 59-47 on Wednesday – are in top spot with seven points, while Botswana are in second place with six points after beating Ireland 46-34. Singapore are in third with five points.

After a rest day on Thursday, Singapore will face winless Papua New Guinea in their final pool match on Friday. They will qualify for Saturday’s final if they win the match and Botswana lose to Namibia. Ireland will also play Cook Islands on Friday.

For more information, please visit Netball Singapore’s website, and tickets to the tournament are available here.

Related stories:

Singapore get 1st win at Netball Nations Cup, beating Ireland 51-35

Singapore netballers remain upbeat despite 52-57 Nations Cup loss to Botswana

Singapore snatch dramatic 54-54 draw in Netball Nations Cup opener against Namibia

Nations Cup tune-up for Singapore netballers' ultimate goal: reclaiming SEA Games gold from Malaysia