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Perlas veterans shine as Philippines clip Malaysia to boost gold medal hopes

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Perlas Pilipinas broke lose from a 30-all first half using a strong run in the second half to defeat Malaysia, 74-63 Thursday in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games women’s basketball tournament at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.

Unlike their match against Thailand where the teams’ inexperience was evident, the Philippines fielded its tested veterans down the stretch to provide the damage and take home the win.

Cindy Resultay and Allana Lim keyed in a huge run in the third period as Perlas took a 44-38 advantage. A triple by Merenciana Arayi made it 47-38, before the Malaysian side pulled to within two, 51-49 before the start of the final period.

Resultay then chipped in five points in a 15-6 run that made it 66-55 for Perlas with only under four minutes remaining in regulation. Malaysia then continued to fire blanks, and battled to bounce back against the Philippines.

Malaysia struggled from the outside against the stifling Philippine zone defense, shooting only 30 percent from long range. The defense also prevented Malaysia from scoring too much inside the paint.

Lim led all scorers with 20 points and hauled down 13 rebounds, while Resultay and Arayi both scored 15 points. The Philippines were the more aggressive team in getting to the hoop, getting 27 free throw attempts compared to only 15 from their opponents.

Malaysia previously defeated Thailand, 65-56. The latter defeated Perlas during its opener, 62-57 but the win against Malaysia puts the Philippines at a superior quotient should the three teams emerge as the top three in the team standings.

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