Pundits praise Desert Jewels ….as players earn respect with win over Singapore

Home National Pundits praise Desert Jewels ….as players earn respect with win over Singapore
Pundits praise Desert Jewels ….as players earn respect with win over Singapore

Netball commentators are celebrating Namibia’s Debmarine Desert Jewels after their impressive 58-45 victory over Singapore in an intense match at the Pacific Netball Series in Brisbane, Australia on Tuesday. 

The Namibians, aiming to improve their world ranking, dominated all four quarters, earning respect from their opponents and delighting their supporters. 

Netball pundit Operi Tjipuka highlighted Namibia’s consistency and resilience, saying: “We played two amazing quarters against Samoa, but mistakes in the last two quarters cost us”. 

“Against Tonga, we stuck to the game plan, playing and defending as a team, which led to a great victory, despite minor issues to address.”

Tjipuka praised the team’s strategy against Singapore, noting their focus and coordination. 

“Beating a higher-ranked team like Tonga boosted their confidence against Singapore, ranked 24th. The girls knew they couldn’t take chances and brought their A-game, with combinations across the field working well.”

Looking ahead to the match against the Australia First Nation, Tjipuka emphasised the need for flawless execution. 

“Each player must do their job, and support each other. We cannot afford simple mistakes, and must convert all chances while striving for turnovers. Patience after a turnover will be key.”

She expressed confidence in the coaching staff, highlighting their experience and the fitness team’s efforts in keeping the players in top condition. 

“The coaches have great knowledge, and the fitness team is ensuring the players are fit and managing any injuries.”

Former player Vijanda Kamberipa echoed Tjipuka’s sentiments, commending the mix of experienced players and debutants. 

“The defensive side is turning balls well – and while the transition to our shooting circle was challenging in the first game, it improved against Tonga.”

Kamberipa suggested resting core players in the match against the Australian First Nation, which is not crucial for ranking, to keep them fresh for the important game against Fiji. 

“Fiji is a very agile opponent, but we stand a good chance to bring gold home.”

Local netball coach Dimitri Bitler praised the team’s overall performance. 

“They just need to be more clinical, and improve their fieldwork. Namibia is the surprise package of the games, doing better than expected, despite limited time, resources and friendlies. They are above par,” he said. 

Namibia versus Singapore 

The match unfolded with Singapore’s Jamie Lim Jia Yin proving to be a formidable defender, but Namibia’s goal attack Anna Kasper and goal shooter Luise Kausehue collaborated effectively, finishing the first quarter with a 15-11 lead.

In the second quarter, Kausehue continued to excel, converting all her passes.  Goal defence Cornelia Mupenda played a crucial role, intercepting key passes to halt Singapore’s attacks. 

Despite minor ball-handling errors, Namibia maintained their strong position, ending the quarter at 30-23.

The third quarter saw Namibia further stretching their lead to 47-33.  Wing attack Imbileni Frans swiftly connected passes to Kasper and Kausehue, facilitating their conversions. Singapore showed signs of fatigue as the game progressed. In the final quarter, Singapore attempted quick passes, but Kausehue, supported by Frans, sealed Namibia’s victory.

 Goal shooter Mianka Robberts, who entered in the last two minutes, expressed excitement over scoring for Namibia. 

She emphasised their focus on fundamentals, and maintaining their game strategy, “We are just going to take it one step at a time”. Head coach Julene Meyer said she is happy with the result, but that there are things to work on. This victory puts Namibia in third place. 

The Australian First Nation team is in first place, followed by Fiji in second.

The Namibians now have a date with the Australian First Nation team this morning at 07h00, and Fiji on Friday at 11h00. 

The playoffs and grand final are scheduled for Saturday. 

– lmupetami@nepc.com.na