Hop­ing for smiles not tears

New Straits Times - - Sport -

CAP­TAIN Nur Syafa­zliyana Mohd Ali doesn’t want to see tears from the na­tional women’s netball team this time at the Sea Games.

They plan to snatch the Sea Games gold medal from Sin­ga­pore.

“We can’t wait for the Sea Games to start be­cause we re­ally want to take back the gold medal,” she said.

“We don’t want to feel the way we felt in 2015.”

Two years ago, Malaysia lost by a mere three points to Sin­ga­pore, who were then the host na­tion.

The 24-year-old stressed that de­spite Sin­ga­pore’s vast ex­po­sure to in­ten­sive train­ing abroad and com­pe­ti­tions against big teams, Malaysia are pre­pared to take them on as they are fully ready af­ter com­ing back from two tours in Australia.

“The Aus­tralian ex­pe­ri­ence helped us a lot as they are the world num­ber one and we have seen tremen­dous im­prove­ments in our sides.

“Their play­ing style is dif­fer­ent com­pared to Asian play­ers be­cause they are faster, tac­ti­cal dif­fer­ent and their size is dif­fer­ent.”

Malaysia’s tour to Melbourne showed pos­i­tive re­sults with four wins out of five, with the sole de­feat to the Aus­tralian men’s netball team.

Last year, the team won the Asian Cham­pi­onships in Bangkok, a feat Malaysia achieved for the first time 32 years ago when they de­feated Sri Lanka.

The dif­fer­ence to the team this year will see the ab­sence of for­mer cap­tain, Nu­rul Adha Abu Bakar and de­buts by Puah Pei San, Shan­dralelka Shan­mugam and Kar­ishma Lo­ganathan. Farah Azharie

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