Women cagers aim for a podium spot

Women cagers aim for a podium spot
HEART AND SOUL: Although the national women’s basketball team are made up of undergrads and working adults, their attitude has been superb, says their coach.

Compared to the resurgence of their "big brothers", the national women's basketball side have been relatively low-profile, even though the team have a better record at the SEA Games.

While the Singapore men have two bronze medals, the women reached the final in 2003, claiming the silver with the help of five naturalised players from China.

Both teams will feature all-local lineups this year, with the men eyeing a place in the final, while the women are targeting a medal in their first appearance in the competition since 2007.

National women's basketball coach Ng Choon Hong said: "We are happy that our women's team can play at this SEA Games on home ground and we are grateful for the financial support from the authorities that allowed us to have overseas training stints in Taiwan and China.

"In Taiwan, we played eight matches in seven days, and we will also be going to Dongguan, where there is an NBA Training Centre, to play three to four matches a day there for a week.

"We have a team that are made up of working adults and university students, but, despite work commitments and exams, their attitude has been superb and attendance has been close to 100 per cent."

Captain Lim Jiamin added: "In the past, we trained as little as once a week, and attendance was affected by work or school.

"But spurred by the upcoming SEA Games, attendance has improved tremendously even when the training intensity has increased to four times a week.

SMALL POOL

"The pool of players here is not as big as the men's game, so it was really important for us to be exposed to a high level of competition with the professional clubs."

Assistant coach Hannah Ho, a former national cager who won bronze at the 1985 Games, hopes that the buzz surrounding the women's game will continue well after the SEA Games.

She said: "These players have the potential and I can see them achieving better results if there is enough support for them after the SEA Games."


This article was first published on April 25, 2015.
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