MANILA, Philippines – Already a gold medalist, the Philippines thrashed Malaysia 96-93 in the women’s basketball tournament at the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Sunday.
The Jilas Pilipinas women finished the campaign with a 4-1 slate after a win against Singapore on Saturday, virtually winning gold. In the single round format of the basketball tournament, the team has won the title with the best record.
The Indonesians could also finish with a 4-1 record, but the Filipinos held the tie-break after losing with their hands in the opener, 93-77.
The Filipinos took a 93-86 lead in the final two minutes of the competition at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium in Hanoi, failing to make a clean sweep in the showcase where they are defending champions.
The experienced trio of Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos and Chuck Cabinbin came half way through the final, bringing back the most critical twists the Filipinos had against the Malaysians.
Lee Fei Ling of Malaysia, however, was hired to play the role of spoiler, leaving 1:05 to tie everything in 93 in his only basket in a heedy layup-competition.
Chong Yin Yin then triple to pull the trigger from under Filipinos who gained tournament heights with the exception of foreign preacher Gabby and Ella Fazardo.
Final: Philippines – Gold medal already secured – 98-93 late against Malaysia.
– INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) May 22, 2022
Pontejos led the way for the Philippines with 18 points but what could be a gorgeous conclusion for the Philippine bid was a picture of frustration.
Bernardino chipped in 16 attempts, while Bade 13, Fazardo 12, Cabinbin and Angel Surda 10.
It was still an admirable performance for Pat Aquino’s mentor Gilas women, who beat the countries by 22.5 points before losing to the Malaysians.
It is also noteworthy that the Nationals defended their crown without Jack Daniel Animam and Filipino-American big Kelly Hayes.
The Malaysians finished their SEA Games campaign with a 3-2 record.
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