Pinays battle Thais in SEAG netball opener

By Olmin Leyba, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 31 2015 09:18 AM | Updated as of May 31 2015 05:19 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine women’s netball team “Siklab Pilipinas” plunges into action today against Thailand at the OCBC Arena in Singapore, officially kicking off the country’s campaign at the 28th Southeast Asian Games.

The Filipinas take the court at 2 p.m. in the second game of a triple bill that opens the round robin preliminaries.

Host and two-time Asian champion Singapore takes on Brunei at 12 noon while Malaysia battles Myanmar at 5:30 p.m.

Composed of players with background in basketball and volleyball, “Siklab Pilipinas” hopes to make a good account of itself in its first major tournament.

“It’s a brand-new team, a brand-new experience for everyone,” coach Fransien Howarth said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel. “The girls are working really hard and we’d love to come away with a medal and I think the girls deserve it.”

Former volleyball star Michelle Datuin and former WNCAA Mythical 5 basketball player Kristine Marie Teo are among those tapped to play for the team, whose SEAG trip is sponsored by the host Singaporeans.

They are joined by Teresa Angeline Aquino, Remia Buenacosa, Danielle Michiko Castaneda, Ana Thea Cenarosa, Maricar Convencido, Leanne Espina, Loraine Angela Lim and Mary Anne Jenelle Yabut.

“It’s our first major, major tournament and hopefully we can improve each game,” Espina, the team captain, told ANC. “We want to prove that we’re deserving of our spot in the SEA Games.”

A ball game most popular in Commonwealth nations, netball is played by two teams of seven on a rectangular court with raised goal rings at each end. Each team attempts to score by passing the ball down the court and shooting it through the goal ring.

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