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Perlas ousts gutsy Singapore to salvage pride



With chances for a podium finish already dead, Perlas Pilipinas entered the match against Singapore with hopes of salvaging pride.

And what was supposed to be a walk in the park for them turned out to be a stiff challenge, before the Philippines stepped up in the end to record an 82-72 win over the host squad Monday in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games women’s basketball tournament at the OCBC Arena.

Singapore began the match with guns ablaze, making six of its first eight triples, which included four straight to stun the Philippines in the opening moments and tally a huge 33-21 advantage in the second period.

This triggered Perlas to go on a fullcourt trap that put pressure on Singapore, forcing turnovers and scoring baskets in transition to cut the lead down to 38-37 entering the halftime break.

Analyn Almazan and Allana Lim combined for 13 points in a 16-5 run for Perlas to close the half.

In the third period, back-to-back triples gave Singapore a 46-41 edge, but Philippines continued on their full court trap strategy to force even more turnovers. A basket by Cindy Resultay finally gave the nationals a 53-52 lead before a trey from Merenciana Arayi made it 56-52.

Perlas defended the three-point line well after that point, having figured that Singapore did not have options inside, and held Singapore to forced outside shots.

However, the home side kept fighting hard, and took a 65-64 lead in the fourth before two consecutive long range bombs from Arayi kickstarted a huge run that gave Perlas the momentum and a double-digit margin towards the end.

Lim and Afril Bernardino scored 17 points apiece, shooting 14-for-21 from the field combined while Arayi added 16 including three from the outside.

Cheryl Poon topscored for the hosts with 17 points although shot only 3-for-11 from downtown as Singapore wounded up with a 1-4 card.

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