MANILA, Dec 1 -- Malaysia are one step closer to the coveted netball gold in the 30th SEA Games when the national team defeated Brunei 64-40 in the semifinals played at the Santa Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna here today.
Tracey Robinson’s charges had to work hard for their win though, and was slow to find their rhythm in the first quarter, ending it with only a 17-13 lead.
Shoring up their shaky defence in the second quarter, Malaysia widened their lead to 33-22, stretching it to 51-30 in the third.
Brunei had already been defeated 23-69 in the preliminary round on Nov 28, and a much more tougher battle lies ahead for Malaysia, who are the defending champions, when they take on traditional rivals, Singapore in the final tomorrow.
Singapore, the gold medallists in the 2015 edition, booked their place in the final after whipping Thailand 61-31 in the other semifinal.
National senior player, Norashikin Kamal Zaman, when contacted by Bernama, said while it was great to go through to the final, the game today was far from satisfactory.
"I was not happy with my game personally, and I felt I could have played better. I will try to put up a better display tomorrow,” she said.
Robinson was also not happy with her charges’ performance today, and urged them to rise up to the occasion and defend Malaysia’s gold medal tomorrow.
"Very scrappy game... we weren’t at our best today. Will have to work hard tomorrow to have a chance for the gold medal. We need to keep our standards high and to keep pushing on when we get a lead and not relax and expect our defenders to turn over the ball,” she said.