SINGAPORE – Hosts Singapore got off to a winning start at the Asian Netball Championship (ANC) as they beat Japan 103-3 in the opening match of the competition on Saturday (Sept 3).

At the OCBC Arena, the Republic, ranked 34th in the world, surged to a 21-2 lead in the first quarter, but suffered a scare when veteran attacker Charmaine Soh seemed to sustain an injury on her right knee less than eight minutes into the second quarter.

Despite the setback, Singapore remained untroubled as Lee Pei Shan filled Soh’s role and continued to dominate the one-sided encounter.

Three-time Asian champions Singapore restricted Japan to goalless second and third quarters as they entered the final 15 minutes with a 79-2 lead, before passing the 100-goal mark in the final 15 minutes to cap the emphatic win.

Japan are unranked and the majority of their 10-player squad here are uncapped at the international level.

Singapore co-captain Khor Ting Fang said: “For today, given that it’s the first game that we’ve been playing internationally and especially with a home crowd, there definitely was a little bit of excitement and nerves involved there.

“But kudos to the Japanese team, they really played very patiently. They played their their own game, and they never gave up. And that’s something I think we can take away from them.

“As for our own play, there are some parts where the flow went quite well in terms of the way we brought the ball down the court.”

The ANC is the first international netball competition for Singapore since the 2019 SEA Games and is also a qualifying tournament for the 2023 Netball World Cup.

The top two teams at the ANC will book their place at next year’s World Cup, which will be held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Last modified: September 3, 2022