Gilas Women secure Vietnam SEAG gold medal as Malaysia stops their unbeaten run

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 22) – Gilas Pilipinas Women has secured the gold medal despite dropping a close loss to Malaysia, 93-96, in the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Sunday at the Thanh Tri Gymnasium in Vietnam.

Gilas Women, who finished with a 4-1 record in the 31st SEA Games, are sure to hoist the crown for the second straight edition regardless if Indonesia (3-1) beats winless Singapore later in the day.

The Philippines defeated Indonesia, 93-77, in their first assignment last May 16 to own the head-to-head advantage in case of a tie in the single round-robin tournament. 

Gilas almost clinched a come-from-behind win after they overturned a six-point lead by Malaysia early in the fourth period to a seven-point cushion, 93-86, as Janine Pontejos and Afril Bernardino unleashed their offensive exploits in the scoring run.

But the Malaysians answered back with a 10-0 rally in the final 2:33 of the ball game with Fook Yee Yap converting an and-one play and another free throw to cut their lead to two points.

Phei Ling Lee converted a crucial basket inside the paint to tie the game at 93-all in the last 1:05 of the match and Yin Yin Chong drained the dagger triple in the final 42 seconds as the Malaysians stopped the unbeaten run of the Filipinas.

Bernardino finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, seven steals, and three blocks in an all-around effort for the Patrick Aquino-mentored Gilas Women squad. She only missed two of her nine total field goals.

Pontejos added 18 markers and six boards, while Elisha Bade contributed 13 points and seven rebounds for the Gilas.