THE Desert Jewels on display against Zambia at the Africa Netball Cup in Gaborone yesterday were not pleasing, says Namibia head coach Julene Meyer.
She says her side were caught cold as they went down 52-42 to the Zambians who lead the race for honours, having also beaten Eswatini 63-47 in their opener on Wednesday.
Day three’s other action delivered two thrillers as Zimbabwe edged hosts Botswana 56-50 in, while Kenya held off the attentions of a determined Eswatini 44-43.
A sluggish start to the match by the Jewels proved to be the decisive factor in the clash against the second best ranked nation in the tournament.
“Overall, we didn’t play like we wanted to play. You always have these games in tournaments where nothing goes the way that you it to go,” Meyer said in her post match analysis.
The performance was a stark contrast to Namibia’s impressive victory over top ranked side Zimbabwe in their first match of the competition.
“I’m not happy with the performance and I’m sure my players are not happy with the performance.
We’ll have to bounce back and ensure we’ve got our cylinders firing again. Overall, we were beaten by a better team, so congratulations to Zambia,” said Meyer.
Zambia won three of the four quarters, with the final set ending in a stalemate.
The opening quarter was 13-10, with the score 26-21 at half-time. Zambia made it a 10-point gap at the end of the third quarter to lead 38-28, with both sides netting 14 points in the fourth quarter.
“The last quarter was a draw, so I think that was good. We left it too late. We should have started earlier and played that from the start and not in the last quarter,” Meyer lamented.
“So, we definitely have to ensure that in our warm up we’re switched on. We have to ensure that from the word go, we fire on all cylinders.”
Namibia face Kenya this afternoon (15h00) and Botswana tomorrow before closing off their campaign with a clash against Eswatini on Sunday.
“We will be ready and not be underestimating them. We’ve made it difficult for ourselves going forward. So, going forward, we won’t be playing with any mercy and we’ll be having all our guns blazing.
Today’s other match pits Botswana against Zambia at 19h00.
On Sunday, Zimbabwe and Zambia contest the first encounter at 15h00, with Kenya versus Zambia at 15h00 and Eswatini against Zimbabwe at 17h00, the last action of the tournament on Monday.
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