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Brunei beat Maldives in Asian Netball Championships

Fadhil Yunus

The Brunei Darussalam national netball team sealed a 50-40 victory against Maldives in the second round of Group ‘F’ in the Asian Netball Championships 2022 in Singapore yesterday.

It marked their second victory of the campaign following a 38-34 win against Chinese Taipei in the preliminary round.

With the early stage of the match littered with a succession of turnovers, Brunei was offered a reprieve as solid defence led by their goal defence helped prevent Maldives from extending their three-point lead. Brunei was able to score the last point of the first quarter and trailed Maldives by a single point.

At the start of the second quarter, the momentum seemed to swing on Brunei’s favour as a centre pass gave them the initiative to extend their lead by three points 18-15.

Brunei found the accuracy with their long passes and enjoyed another turnover to take a four-point lead with the score reading 20-16.

Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah in a group photo with other members of the Royal Bees. PHOTO: NETBALL SINGAPORE

The second quarter saw Brunei produce a series of good team plays but their rhythm was broken as Maldives finished strong. With nine seconds remaining, Brunei missed an opportunity to take the lead in the second quarter as both teams could not be separated at 21-21.

Brunei showed more fluidity in the third quarter as they built a lead as wide as a five-point cushion.

With Brunei surrendering possession after dropping a cross court pass, they were handed a reprieve as Maldives gifted a turnover.

Nevertheless, their lead was trimmed to just one point as Maldives benefited from an infringement and a high pass put the tie firmly in the balance heading into the final quarter.

Brunei again repeated their form early in the third quarter with a five-point lead before Maldives broke the sequence with their first point. Brunei coach Nur Hafizah binti Haji Abdul Sidek’s charges started to build a significant lead but a missed shot ended their scoring streak.

With Maldives looking to reduce the gap, a loose pass allowed Brunei to intercept the ball and a good passage of play led to a fine conversion to extend their lead to seven.

Brunei fell short with their shooting and allowed Maldives a glimpse back into the game as they reduced the gap to four.

But, the Royal Bees won a turnover and extended their lead to seven with three minutes remaining before making it nine with less than two minutes remaining.

Brunei sealed an important victory as they reached the 50-point mark with a 10-point winning margin.

The Royal Bees will look to exact redemption against the Philippines in their next match tomorrow.