A shot and a block in the game’s waning seconds were enough to lift Malaysia past a gutsy Vietnam side, 86-85, in the 2017 SEABA Championship for Men’s first-ever overtime game, Tuesday night at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Malaysia, a team that is playing its fifth game in five days, have now improved their card to 2-3. Vietnam, on the other hand, dropped to 1-3.
Ting Chun Hong paced Malaysia with 28 points on 56.25 percent shooting along with two rebounds, four assists, and two blocks — with the last one serving as the game-winner. Choo Wei Hong backed him up with 20 points and nine boards.
Le Ngoc Tu’s free throws with 11.4 seconds left in overtime sent Vietnam up, 85-84, but Choo’s elbow jumper met the bottom of the net to propel Malaysia ahead by a solitary point, 86-85, with just four ticks left to play.
With the game on the line, Le took matters into his own hands, but his potential game-winning jumper went smothered by Ting. Le was able to regain the loose ball, but time has already expired for another shot.
Heng Yee Tong added 12 markers for Malaysia. Chan Kek Thai scored seven, but was able to grab down 11 boards. Teo Kok Hou facilitated the offense with 11 assists, and finished with two points, three rebounds, and four steals.
Malaysia was down, 68-62, in regulation, but returned with a 10-0 run ended by Choo’s lay-up to lead by four, 72-68, with 2:04 left. But Vietnam ran back with an 8-4 spree capped by Nguyen Van Hung’s lay-up to tie the game at 76.
Heng had the chance to win it for the Malaysians with 4.2 seconds to go, but his launch from beyond the arc missed its’ target.
Trieu Han Minh led Vietnam with 20 points on 50 percent shooting, while Van Hung posted a double-double of 16 markers and 12 boards. Le and To Quang Trung scored 14 and 12, respectively.
Vietnam shot six notches better despite the loss, nailing 42 percent from the field. They also edged Malaysia in rebounds, 51-44. However, the Malaysians forced them to 22 errors that became 26 points.
Malaysia will have the luxury of a break tomorrow, Wednesday, May 17, before taking on bottom-ranked team Myanmar on Thursday, May 18, at 3:00 PM. Vietnam will next face Gilas Pilipinas also tomorrow at 7:00 PM.
Malaysia (86) – Ting 28, Choo 20, Heng 12, Chan 7, Mak 7, Ang 6, Teo 2, Ong 2, Choong 2, Liaw 0, Chin 0, Liew 0.
Vietnam (85) – Trieu 20, Nguyen V 16, Le N 14, To 12, Le P 9, Tran 7, Dang 5, Nguyen H 2, Nguyen T 0.
Quarterscores: 15-15, 30-35, 50-54, 76-76, 86-85.