THE Namibian National Netball Team celebrated their return to the M1 Nations Cup in Singapore with a draw against the host nation during the opening match of the tournament earlier on Sunday.
The last time Namibia’s netball ladies, also known as the Desert Jewells, participated at the tournament in 2012 and their return match shortly after the opening ceremony against the hosts went relatively well. Seven years ago the Namibians attained third place in the tournament.
The Straits Times reports that Singapore, ranked 28th, battled hard to earn a 54-54 draw against the Namibian team, ranked 33rd.
An evenly-matched the first quarter ended with the scores level at 12-12. At the end of the second quarter the Namibians were in the lead at 25-23.
Singapore in a determined display during the third quarter took the lead and the stanza ended with the hosts leading at 39-38.
The teams went head to head in the final quarter that saw the teams leapfrogging each other for the lead until the dying seconds of the match.
Trailing 54-53 and with just seconds remaining, Singapore’s captain, Charmaine Soh sank a shot to salvage a draw for the hosts.
Over the next three days the netball ladies from Namibia will face Ireland, the Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea. After one day’s rest the Namibians will then take on the only other African team in the tournament, Botswana on Friday before the knockout stage of the tournament will begin.
The final stages of the tournament will be played on Saturday.