Just as Thailand was closing in on its first win in the 2017 SEABA Championship, disaster struck, with a freak collision occurring between the Thais’ ace gunner Chitchai Ananti and a Malaysian defender. Ananti grimaced in pain, clutching his right shin, and had to be taken out of the game for good with 3:23 still remaining .
“It was a knee to my calf,” the 26-year-old said after Thailand’s 74-67 win over Malaysia.
Ananti, the third oldest player in the Thai lineup, finished the contest with a game-high 24 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists, and four steals. According to him, he should be able to play when Thailand takes on Vietnam in the opener of Day 2.
“I think I should be okay,” he shared.
But what’s not alright for him is how they had started against the Malaysians. Thailand faced a 12-point deficit early in the second frame and had a hard time closing out their opponents late.
“It feels a bit out of place. We got the win but it’s not the way we wanted it to be,” confessed Ananti, who was part of the silver medal SEA Games team back in 2015.
And with their first game done, they now know what they have to work on in their next six games.
“I think we better know now what to do in the coming games,” he declared.
“We want to focus on our inside players in the next games.”