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Unstoppable Marlins are 2011 Netball Super League Champions


The most consistent team certainly won it, as the near invincible Nike Marlins dropped only one game on the road to winning the 2011 title. (Photo: SSC/ Lionel Lim)


The Nike Marlins were crowded the NTUC FairPrice Foundation Netball Super League 2011 Champions on
Saturday, 16 April 2011, after they beat Blaze Dolphins 51-40 in the Grand Final at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall.

 

This season, the Marlins had already beaten the Dolphins 54-40 and 43-36 in the league and again in the semi-final 41-37, so it seemed a foregone conclusion before the game, as to where the winning trophy was headed.

 

However, it started off very tight with the Dolphins just a point down when the first quarter finished 12-11. The Dolphins were aided greatly by their shooters, Joanne Loo and Chen Hui Fen, who despite missing 1.88m tall national shooter Li Ling because of injury, outgunned their opponents 83 to 68 in shooting percentage, missing only eight shots throughout the game.

 

However, by half time, the Marlins had slowly pulled away to a 29-22 lead. The important statistic in the game really was in shot attempts, for despite their opponent’s better shooting accuracy, the Marlins created 74 chances to their opponents 48, allowing their shooters less pressure to make every shot count.

 

Key to that Marlins midfield was national player Pearline Chan, who played at Wing Attack. Her performance in the final and in the matches throughout the season earned her the Most Valuable Centre Court Player of the Tournament.

 

In the end, their dominance was telling, and despite a brief fight back from the Dolphins in the final quarter, the Marlins cruised to their 51-40 victory.

 

“I’m very happy for the girls. Today really was all about the girls going out there and doing it and I must thank everyone in the team, like (assistant coach Yap Hui) Kim, for this,” said Marlins’ coach Noraida Abdul Malik, who also bagged the Coach of the Tournament award.

 

The Marlins finished worthy winners, going 9-1 to top the league and losing only game, by a mere goal, throughout the season.

 

“I think we have been the most consistent team,” said Marlins’ captain Jean Ng. “We’ve only dropped one game on the way to the finals and we’ve won everything. The girls have really played their hearts out and have really been able to come together and best of all, I think they are really enjoying it.”

 

The secret to the Marlins’ success was a simple one, one that could be summed up in just a word, according to their assistant coach, Yap.

 

“The key thing was commitment,” explained Yap. “And with these girls, I don’t think I could have asked for anymore.”

 

The National Netball Team also took the chance to announce the squad which will be traveling for the African Tour for a tri-series competition with South Africa and the host country in Botswana, in preparation for the World Netball Championship which will be held in Singapore from 3 - 10 July.

 

The squad of 12 will include Nike Marlins duo Jean Ng and Pearline Chan, Blaze Dolphin shooters Li Ling and Chen Hui Fen, as well as their goalkeeper for the day, Lin Qingyi.

 

National Team for the Africa Tour

 

Shooters: Li Ling, Charmaine Soh, Chen Hui Fen, Cassandra Soh

Centre Court: Charlene Porima, Pearline Chan, Vanessa Lee, Nurul Baizura

Defence: Chen Li Li, Jean Ng, Lin Qingyi, Premila Hirubalan