MANILA, Philippines—The Gilas Pilipinas women's team plays Malaysia in a crucial contest at Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, needing a victory to boost its gold medal chances in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Game time is at 6 p.m.
The Filipinas are coming off a hard-earned 63-56 triumph over Indonesia in their first game, and they need another win to stay in step with Thailand in the standings of the single round-robin competition.
Thailand stunned Malaysia, the two-time defending champions, 70-47, in the first game Wednesday.
"Well, we have to be prepared, especially, I know Malaysia's gonna come back from the loss they had against Thailand," Gilas Pilipinas coach Patrick Aquino said.
"As far as I'm concerned, we have to really adjust defensively."
Jack Animam more than held her own against Indonesia's Sophia Gabriel, while Afril Bernardino bucked foul trouble to make an impact in the second half. Janine Pontejos nailed big buckets from behind the arc as well.
Aquino and his crew are expecting a bounce-back game from Malaysia, a team that beat them 60-56 in the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur two years ago.
"For sure gigil sila makabawi. So kailangan talaga namin mag-prepare ng sobra," said Animam, who scored 6 of her 9 points in the fourth quarter for the Gilas women.
"Kung ano 'yung lapses namin this game, hindi na pwede mangyari 'yun, kasi Malaysia is also a deadly team."
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