SINGAPORE: It was a display of mental strength and a gritty performance as defending champions Blaze was pushed all the way to the end by Sneakers who eventually won the closely fought match 51-49 in the opening week of the Deloitte Netball Super League 2023 at the Our Tampines Hub on Saturday afternoon.
There were two other matches in the opening round. Fier Orcas had a comfortable win over Mannas. In the final match of the weekend, newcomer Llabten put up a good fight against Swifts but the latter eventually won 52-45.
In what was arguably the local netball fans’ focus for the opening day, the match between Blaze and Sneakers started pretty even in the first quarter as both teams ended the first quarter 13-all. Blaze picked up steam in the next two quarters and was leading 41-35 heading into the final quarter. But the 2020 league champions Sneakers were not about to give up easily as they got their act together and managed to claw back into the match, winning 51-49. With the win, Sneakers picked up three points while Blaze earned a point as they lost the match by less than six points.
The last time Sneakers won against Blaze was back in 2020. That year, the season ended after the conclusion of the regular league season due to covid restrictions and Sneakers was crowned champions, and Blaze was in third position. The league was postponed in 2021 and it resumed last year. In 2022, Blaze won all three encounters against Sneakers. In the regular league matches, Blaze won 58-37, and 48-33. Both teams met again in the finals and Blaze won 59-40.
Week two of matches will be played on Feb 11 at Our Tampines Hub. The first match will be between Mannas and Swift at 12 noon, followed by Blaze and Llabten at 2pm. The final match of the day will be between Sneakers and Orcas at 4pm.
Full results below
Game 1: Blaze vs Sneakers
Q1: 13-13, Q2: 27-21 (14-8), Q3: 41-35 (14-14), Q4: 49-51 (8-16)
Game 2: Orcas vs Mannas
Q1: 17-4, Q2: 30-16 (13-12), Q3: 44-20 (14-4), Q4: 58-29 (14-9)
Game 3: Swifts vs Llabten
Q1: 20-13, Q2: 33-29 (13-16), Q3: 45-34 (12-5), Q4: 52-45 (7-11)
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