Malaysia's Norahshikin Kamalzaman aims to shoot in the netball semi-final match against Brunei at the Singapore SEA Games on Saturday. Malaysia won 79-23. - AFP
SINGAPORE: The stage is set for the grand finale.
And Malaysia will hold nothing back when they face Asian champions Singapore – and their 3,000-strong fans – in the netball final at the OCBC Arena on Sunday.
The tie is evenly poised. Both teams drew 35-35 in the round-robin game on Thursday and ended their round robin campaign without a loss.
In the semi-finals on Saturday, the Malaysian women cruised to a 79-23 win over Brunei while Singapore defeated Thailand 59-29.
The stats are nothing to national skipper Yap Sou Kuen. She has vowed to silence the partisan crowd again in the final and retain the medal, which Malaysia won in the KL Games in 2001. Netball was not contested in the subsequent Games until now.
“It’s time for revenge. We want to beat Singapore for our past defeats ... and to defend the gold medal in front of their home crowd would be perfect,” said Sou Kuen.
“We definitely have an edge over them following the draw in the round robin stage. We managed to silence their supporters and we want to do it again in the final.
I think the Singapore team are rattled now.”
The 30-year-old Sou Kuen added that the consistency of goal scorer An Najwa Azizan has been a massive boost for the team.
The 1.78cm tall An Najwa has been an immense influence for the team, hitting an impressive 94% conversation rate for Malaysia in the competition.
“Our goal scorers have been consistent ... it’s great to have them firing on all cylinders,” said the National Sports Council (NSC) officer.
The Star Online