NAMIBIA began their 2012 Netball Nations Cup campaign with a 58-25 defeat of the Republic of Ireland yesterday.
The Namibians led 19-5 after the first quarter and extended their advantage to 35-10 by halftime.
Namibia’s dominance over the Europeans saw them stretch to an 48-17 lead at the end of the third quarter before adding another 10 points to emerge 58-25 winners.
Today Namibia’s ‘Desert Jewels’ face Sri Lanka, who lost to Africa’s other representatives Tanzania 67-51.
Hosts Singapore eked out a narrow 44-42 win over neighbours Malaysia in yesterday’s other match.
Singapore next play Ireland, while Malaysia take on Tanzania.
This year marks Namibia’s third appearance at the international competition. Last year Namibia came fourth overall after losing 52-47 to Malaysia in the third-place playoff.
In the group stages, Namibia won two matches against Malaysia (44-42) and Sri Lanka (77-49), but lost three matches against Papua New Guinea (55-47), Fiji (60-37) and Singapore (53-43).
In 2010 Namibia came fifth after beating India 72-23 in the fifth-place playoff.
On that occasion Namibia lost all five their group matches against Wales (61-28), Fiji (60-37), Tanzania (45-37), Scotland (59-43) and Singapore (43-41).