Keira Baptista’s shooting exploits lift ACJC to 1st A Division girls’ netball title since 2019

4 weeks ago 50

Updated

May 23, 2024, 08:26 PM

Published

May 23, 2024, 08:25 PM

SINGAPORE – Despite playing in the A Division girls’ netball final, the pressure of the occasion did not get to Anglo-Chinese Junior College’s (ACJC) goal shooter Keira Baptista.

Staying composed, the 17-year-old’s shooting prowess helped her team topple defending champions Raffles Institution at the OCBC Arena on May 23. She converted 89.1 per cent (41 out of 46) of her attempts to inspire ACJC to a 44-43 win in a tightly contested final.

The JC1 student, who kept a picture of calm as she made shots, said: “I think I did good enough to help the team. 

“(The match being close) brought more pressure but as soon as I got the ball, I needed to make sure I can put in the shot. I cannot risk losing it for my team.”

Both teams were tied at 41-all with five minutes remaining, but Keira scored the team’s remaining goals to seal their win.

She revealed that talking to herself on the court was key to maintaining her composure. “It takes a lot of… verbalising what I need to do,” she added. “So ‘breathe, focus, pull in the ball’. That helps me a lot.

“I constantly shout at myself. Breathing also clears (my) mind, it helps me reset my full body and just focus on the shot, and nothing else. I feel like I just needed to breathe. 

“It was very important for all of us to maintain our focus, especially me, and not throw away the ball.”

While she did not set any goal target heading into the final, she believes she can still do better.

Coach Kok Mun Wai reserved special praise for her, saying: “She played a very good game, she’s very calm and focused on her own job. I have a lot of confidence in her in putting in the shots.”

The two sides were neck and neck, with RI leading 12-...

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