Brunei lasses’ feat delights former SL coach Thilaka


By Reemus Fernando

Former Sri Lanka national coach Thilaka Jinadasa has things to be happy about at the 8th Asian Netball Championships, despite not associating a bit with the defending champions at this edition in Colombo.

A former player, Thilaka was Sri Lanka’s coach when the country won the title at the 7th edition of the championship in 2009. Today she is the coach of Brunei, the new comers to the championship. Brunei is the lowest ranked team in this ten-nation championship.

Yesterday her young and inexperienced team beat Pakistan 91-13. That was a day after equaling scores in their first match against another better ranked team, Maldives on Saturday.

"I am extremely happy with the way the girls have performed. We are the weakest team in the tournament. This is the first international tournament for the team. We are going in the right direction to improve the ranking," Thilaka told The Island yesterday.

"The team got some exposure playing ten matches in ten days in Singapore. Apart from that we have not played any international tournaments," Thilaka said.

"Honestly this team has not played together for more than six months. But the team is very good in fitness. The only disadvantage is that we have not gained the experience playing in tournaments," explained Thilaka.

Thilaka said that her team would try to be defensive against much fancied teams like Malaysia and Singapore later this week and would try to improve the rankings when the next phase of the tournament get underway towards the end of the week.

Thilaka left for Brunei to coach the national team after her application for the post of the coach of World Cup team was rejected by the authorities here. That was after she coached the team to qualify for the World Cup by winning the Asian Championship.

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