14 August 17 The Straits Times by NICOLE CHIA&NBSP;IN KUALA LUMPUR
Singapore's road to their SEA Games netball gold two years ago started with a 72-21 win over Brunei.
While the defending champions believe the scoreline will be closer when both teams once again open their SEA Games campaigns against each other today, the Republic's new-look netball team are quietly confident of their chances of victory.
Emphasising that they are not taking their title defence or any of their opponents lightly, captain Vanessa Lee said: "The other countries, Brunei included, are becoming stronger, and everyone's play has become more sound.
"We always do video analyses of their game play as part of our preparation - we have our basic plan of what to do as a team, and then we'll make small changes to our strategy to adapt to how the other teams play."
Brunei, joint bronze medallists with Thailand at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, are buoyed by an improved showing at the Asian Championships last year when they finished sixth, one place better than at the previous edition in 2014.
They are led by head coach Thilaka Jinadasa, who guided Sri Lanka to gold at the 2009 Asian Championships.
Singapore coach Yeo Mee Hong, who exchanged a warm hug with Jinadasa on Saturday, said of today's match: "We're just taking one quarter at a time; we're not underestimating our opponents.
"They've been to Sri Lanka to play against top clubs and have definitely improved in skills and set play.
"I expect that they will do a lot of quick, sharp movements, and they will likely play a fast game," she added.
Co-vice captain Nurul Baizura said: "It's just about executing our game plan and everything should be fine for the first game."