Asian Netball Championships: Hong Kong make dominant start in bid to qualify for World Cup
Crushing wins over Thailand and the Philippines give Robin Manihera’s side confidence heading into the second round
Hong Kong have made a dominant start to the Asian Netball Championships in Singapore, breezing through their opening two matches as they look to earn a berth in next year’s World Cup in Liverpool.
The top two sides in the 12-team tournament progress to the World Cup and Hong Kong will take confidence from wins over Thailand (65-38) and the Philippines (73-15).
They have qualified for the final four and will face Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka in the next three days before moving into Saturday’s semi-finals, which will feature the same four teams.
With both a height and experience advantage, Hong Kong dominated the first two quarters of their clash against Thailand to lead 36-16 at the break.
Thailand fought back in the second half as Hong Kong slowed but coach Robin Manihera was pleased with the overall effort.
“I was really happy with how we came out,” Manihera said. “We stuck to the game plan and worked through it. We probably just need to work on holding it for the last five minutes and keeping our focus.
“I think mentally we were strong and kept our cool and I really liked how we were adapting to the change.”
The Philippines encounter resembled something of a training run, with Hong Kong cruising to a 19-goal lead at the first change and never looking back.