New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Desert Jewels Regain Sparkle

After narrowly losing their 2nd match 65-69 against Sri Lanka, Namibia's Desert Jewels yesterday got their campaign back on track when they dusted themselves off with a convincing 58-51 victory against hosts Singapore, in their 3rd match of the 7th edition of the Singapore Annual Six-Nations Cup.

Going into the last match of the day, both teams had the crowd on the edge of their seats with their fierce competition. After losing to Singapore in their last two previous encounters, Namibia was determined to turn their misfortunes around, as they got off to a strong start and won the opening quarter 9-14.

Cassandra Soh came on as goal shooter for Singapore in the second quarter and helped keep them in contention, taking long-range shots and converting to lift the crowd and the confidence of her teammates, but the Desert Jewels were not to be outdone and strongly went into half-time leading 30-20.

In the 3rd quarter, Desert Jewels centre player Menethe Muvangua shone with her dynamic off-the-ball running, creating space and chances for her team.

Singapore's Shelby Koh was also instrumental in their mid-court play with her aggressive cutting and good vision to pick out effective passes to her shooters.

Singapore started picking themselves up and took control of the third quarter and went 7-2 up to bring it back to a five-point deficit, but Namibia answered every point and gallantly managed to keep Singapore at bay to finish with a lead of 45-35.

Singapore however kept chasing the score line and continued fighting, but Namibia's most decorated goal-shooter Toetsie Kambatuku kept slotting in the goals to hand the Desert Jewels a 58-51 victory.

The Desert Jewels were delighted to pick up their second victory and stay in the hunt for a finals spot on Saturday, according to coach Marcha Myburgh.

"I am so delighted. The girls kept calm, they can sometimes lose focus when they get so excited, but today they decided to play their own game and stayed in control and stuck to our game plan and it really worked wonderfully."

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