Malaysia (in red) need to win their remaining matches against Singapore and Vietnam and hope that the Filipinos drop points in their remaining matches against Singapore and Indonesia. - FAIHAN GHANI / The Star
SINGAPORE: The Malaysian women cagers were dealt a serious blow after they lost 63-74 to the Philippines.
Having beaten Indonesia and Thailand in their first two matches, Malaysia just needed to beat the Filipinos to be in pole position to win the gold in the round-robin competition.
The Malaysians, 12-time gold medallists, came out firing in the first quarter to take an 18-13 lead at the OCBC Arena.
But it was the Filipinos gradually grew stronger as the match wore on and tied the score at 30-30 by half-time.
Malaysia just couldn’t convert their chances after the break as the Filipinos came back stronger before sealing a comfortable win.
Allana Lim led the scoring for the Philippines with 20 points, while Merenciana Arayi and Cindy Resultay both topped up with 15 points each.
R. Kalaimathi led the way for Malaysia with 12 points, while Nur Izzati Yaakob added 11 points.
“My players were tired after playing their third match in three days and their performance dipped today,” said national coach Yoong Sze Yuin.
“Some of the umpire’s decisions went against us as well, and the players were unable to respond to that.
“It’s a disappointing result but it’s a good lesson ... I’m happy that my players fought.
“It’s not the end for us though, as the Philippines still need to meet Indonesia. Who knows ... there may be a surprise.”
The defeat means Malaysia are level at the top of the table with the Philippines, who have an advantage because of points difference.
Malaysia need to win their remaining matches against Singapore and Vietnam and hope that the Filipinos drop points in their remaining matches against Singapore and Indonesia.
The Malaysian men got off to a terrible start, losing 48-100 to favourites Philippines in Group A.
The Star Online