BUKIT Jalil Sports School gave a good account of themselves in the inaugural BJSS International Under-19 Netball Challenge.
In the championships at the Olympic Hall at BJSS, the hosts finished sixth after going down 32-28 to Fijiana & Fanz in a play-off match.
Bukit Jalil coach Choo Kon Lee said they had reason to be satisfied with their 6th place finish despite the lowly finish.
“We were playing against teams with physically superior players and it was a major setback. But we were aware of the situation and our main aim was to provide strong competition for our players.
“In fact, the players did well in the preliminary round matches. These games were close and we were the leaders in the first two periods but lost steam in the quarter-finals.
“This is something we have to work on. It must also be noted that we were without two key players – Norazilah Aziz and Norashikin Kamalzaman – as both were with the national squad preparing for the South-East Asia Games.
“The championships served as the platform for our players to display their talents against stronger teams. The players gave their best,’’ said Kon Lee.
The tournament was organised by BJSS after New Zealand cancelled their annual Trans-Tasman Under-19 netball championship.
However, Sports School Australia requested BJSS to take over the host job.
Kon Lee said they, too, accepted the responsibility as most of the participating teams had made preparations and looking forward to the event.
A total eight teams – Aoteori Maori New Zealand (AMNZ) , School Sport Australia (SSA) , Indigenous School Sports Australia (ISSA), Sri Lanka Schools (SLS), Fijiana & Fanz (Fanz), Pacific Stars School Sports Australia (PSSSA), Tunku Makhota Ismail Sports School (TMISS) and Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) – were involved in the championships.
After the round robin preliminary league, AMNZ and SSA qualified for the final. The showpiece was a keenly contested match with both side playing an aggressive game.
But in the end, AMNZ emerged as the champions with a 29-21 win.
PSSSA were third after a hard fought 33-31 win over ISSA.
The organising committee also presented special awards to the Best Player in each of the eight teams. Youngster L. Karishma was voted as the Best Player from BJSS.
The other winners were Anastasia Sekene (AMNZ), Annabel Saggers (SSA); Rhys Coleman (PSSSA), Maddison Burrowes, Siti Wahida Abdul Hamid, Verenaisi Sowana Rokobale (Fanz) and L. Rashmi Diwyanjali (SLS).
The BJSS team, comprising 23 players, will resume their training programme after the school holidays.
Besides Kon Lee, former international Puah Pei San is also a coach.
BJSS’s next championship will be the Waverley International Schoolgirls Championships in Melbourne from June 30 to July 3.
In November, BJSS’s Under-15 squad will take part in the International Youth Sports Schools Championships in Singapore.
Kon Lee said the players, from BJSS are also expected to be selected for the Asean Schools Games (ASG) in Brunei from Nov 22-29.