Hanoi—Gilas Pilipinas Women lost to Malaysia, 96-93, on Sunday but still won the gold in the final day of the basketball competitions of the 31st Southeast Asian Games at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium.
A three by Yin Yin with 17.2 seconds left as Malaysia, playing with a sense of urgency in hopes of capturing a medal, closed the game with a 7-0 run to hand the Philippines its first loss in the last match of the tournament.
Gilas Women though was already assured of the gold medal prior to the game after Malaysia bowed to Vietnam, 69-65, late Saturday night. It finished with a 4-1 win-loss card, regardless of whether Indonesia, at 3-1 as of press time, wins over Singapore due to the winner-over-the-other rule.
“I congratulate Malaysia. They still had that heart to play the game. Even though they were down, we really had a hard time. They were making shots,” said Gilas Women coach Pat Aquino.
Nevertheless, it was a solid showing for Gilas Women, whose four victories had an average winning margin of 23 points. It also won its second straight gold medal in the SEA Games.
“I still tap my hats off for the girls. They played their hearts out. It’s just not as sweet as we want it to be. But we are still gold medalist. I’m so proud of them having that feat,” said Aquino.
Janine Pontejos had 18 points, six rebounds, and three assists while Afril Bernardino had 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists, seven steals, and three blocks for Gilas.