SINGAPORE – Once again, Singapore were forced to settle for second at the Asian Netball Championship for a second straight edition after falling to Sri Lanka 63-53 on Sunday.
In a rematch of the 2018 final, three-time winners Singapore looked set to end their eight-year trophy drought as they came out firing from the start, making several key interceptions and capitalising on errors from a nervy Sri Lankan side to power to a 19-13 lead in the first quarter.
With the 2,500-strong sold-out crowd threatening to bring the roof down, defending champions Sri Lanka rallied in the next period to outscore Singapore 14-11 but the hosts held on for the 30-27 win at the half-time whistle.
The third quarter was the turning point as the visitors tightened their defence, forcing errors from Singapore and limiting their attackers to just eight goals. With Sri Lanka’s 2.06m veteran Tharjini Sivalingam lighting up in the circle with a game-high 19 goals, they levelled matters before stealing the lead and the 46-38 win.
In a tense final quarter, both teams brought their A game with Sri Lanka’s shooters putting in scoring 17 goals to Singapore’s 15. But the gap proved far too big for Singapore as Sri Lanka prevailed 63-53 to win their sixth Asian Championship trophy.
Both teams have qualified for the 2023 World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa.
Malaysia finished third out of 11 teams after beating Hong Kong 54-42 in the play-off. The Philippines won the Plate division while India won the lowest-tier Bowl title.
The biennial event returned for the first time since 2018 after the 2020 edition in South Korea was cancelled because of the pandemic.