By Jonas Terrado
(Mall of Asia Arena)
6 p.m. — Philippines vs Malaysia
Gilas Pilipinas is not taking any chances against Malaysia as it seeks a second straight win in women’s basketball of the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Coach Pat Aquino sees no reason for his team to have a false sense of security in the 6 p.m. after Malaysia started its quest for a third straight gold with a 70-47 loss to Thailand last Wednesday.
“I still believe that Malaysia is a tough team since they are still the defending champion,” said Aquino. “I know they still have the guts to play hard that’s why we have to be ready and play our best.
The national cagebelles began their bid for a first gold in the standard five-on-five event with a 63-56 victory over Indonesia three nights ago, and Aquino is urging his team to play consistent right from the onset.
“We need to have a good start or strong start and be able to sustain it,” he said. “We have to play tough, good defense all the way, execute well on offense and avoid turning the ball over too much.”
A win will turn the Philippines’ final match against Thailand on Tuesday as the gold medal clincher.
The Thais won their first two matches, including a 67-58 win over Indonesia on Friday.
Janine Pontejos, Kelli Hayes and Jack Animam hope to continue their strong play from the previous game against Indonesia.
Afril Bernardino is also keen on playing a key role against the Malaysians.