SINGAPORE - Despite losing by more than a hundred points in one game, the head coach of the Philippine women’s netball team said she remains proud of the effort made by the Filipina cagers in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.
Dubbed ‘Siklab Pilipinas,' the team was ridiculed on social media back home following its embarrassing 112-11 loss at the hands of Malaysia last Monday.
The 101-point blowout was followed by a 56-31 defeat against Malaysia on Tuesday.
And as if that’s not enough, the winless team (0-3) is set to next face host and powerhouse Singapore on Wednesday.
Coach Fransein Howarth told The New Paper SEA Games Daily the team had no illusion of winning as the sport is just in its infancy stage in the country.
“We were under no illusions about the results. We knew we were going to lose,” said Howarth, an English coach.
“But even if it’s by a 10-point or 100-point margin, I’m still proud of these girls,” she added.
Netball, making its SEA Games debut, is a sport similar to basketball but without a board, with players needing to take a shot near the basket.
Despite the lopsided losses, Howarth said the Filipinas played their hearts out in every match.
“It’s all about emotions that they show while playing. The heavy defeat was nowhere near enough to dampen the team’s spirits. They just kept on playing, and that’s what makes me proud,” said Howarth
The English coach bared the Singapore netball federation was instrumental in helping the Philippines form a team for the biennial meet earlier this year.
“Netball’s just so new to the Philippines. There are plenty of people who haven’t heard of it, let alone watched a game. Just look at the national team. We took in girls from basketball and volleyball teams to form a team. We have to get more people involved in it,” admitted Howarth.