“Welcome to the 2015 edition of the region’s biggest sporting event!”
Here at Tiebreakertimes, we welcome you to the first issue of “At The Games”: your daily roundup of the results of Team Philippines in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games.
Yesterday was the last day of May, but it was only the first day of work for the Nationals, and it is one of the delegation’s “newbies” that got the ball rolling – the women’s netball team.
Netballers stunned in very first Games appearance
The women’s netball team fought hard early in the game, but lost steam against Thailand, 22-62, in their opening match of the 28th Southeast Asian Games.
The unranked Siklab Pilipinas bucked jitters in the early minutes , and fought toe-to-toe with the Thais with the score tied at 3-all. However, Thailand unleashed a 7-3 run to end the first quarter. Moreover, it was Thea Cenarosa, Goal Attacker, who made all of the Nationals’ goals in this period.
Afterwards, Thailand did not look back and built a double-digit lead after two quarters, 14-24. The leading team also clamped down on defense in the succeeding quarter, limiting the Philippines to just two points, while scoring 20. The Nationals tried to close the gap, but Thailand continued to pile up the goals en route to a 62-22 victory in Match 2 of the competitions.
Cenarosa had 19 goals in 86% shooting for the Philippines, while former UP Lady Maroons volleyball player, Michiko Castañeda had two points. Yada Boonkong led the winners with 31 goals, with Rattiyakorn Buathong providing added firepower off the bench making all but two shots for an 84% clip.
The Philippines will take on Malaysia tomorrow at 3:30 pm, while Thailand takes on Asian champions and hosts, Singapore, in a titanic clash later in the evening.
In an interview, Team Skipper Leanne Espina shared that, “We are really honored to play for the country. During the match, it was more of excitement rather than the jitters. We were really excited to gauge our skills since this is our very first game with real netball players.”
Being the “babies” of the competition, the UP alumna added that they were overwhelmed with the attention from the media, the crowd, and the ambiance in the arena. When asked on what they need to work on, the wing attacker emphasized the connection between the offensive and defensive sides with their passes. “There were a lot of intercepted balls in the center third, and that is what we will focus on for the coming games,” she explained. After feeling the jitters in their first game, the team will play with more intensity according to the captain. Finally, the fiery leader ended with this, “We are not to be taken lightly. We may be a new team, but it doesn’t mean we are not a threat.”
*Photo from SEA Games 2015
June 1, 2015 Team Philippines Schedule
3:30 pm: Netball Women (Match 5): vs Malaysia – OCBC Arena Hall 1
8:30 pm: Football Men (Group A Match 5): vs Singapore – Jalan Besar Stadium