Less fight this time

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MALAYSIA strug­gled to get go­ing against In­done­sia at the South­east Asian Bas­ket­ball Cham­pi­onship in Manila yes­ter­day, go­ing down tamely 63-42 for their se­cond de­feat of the tour­na­ment.

A day af­ter putting up a com­mend­able dis­play in a sev­en­point loss to a strong Thai­land side, more had been ex­pected of coach Goh Cheng Huat’s young and in­ex­pe­ri­enced squad.

But In­done­sia, sil­ver medal­lists at the 2015 Sea Games, did not give Malaysia room to play as they led from start to fin­ish.

As against Thai­land, Cheng Huat gave ev­ery mem­ber of the 12-man squad game time with Ting Chun Hong’s 16 points the best ef­fort by a Malaysian, go­ing four-of-five from the field and sink­ing all six of his free throws, fol­lowed by the nine points of Choo Wei Hong.

Abra­ham Grahita led In­done­sia with 22 points while Diftha Pratama added 14 points and pulled down 10 re­bounds.

In­done­sia led 14-6 at the end of the first quar­ter and ex­tended their ad­van­tage to 28-19 at half­time.

Malaysia had their best phase of the game late in the third quar­ter when they closed to 42-37 be­fore In­done­sia stamped their au­thor­ity with a 19-5 edge in the fi­nal pe­riod.

To­day, Malaysia face a daunt­ing task against hosts Philip­pines, who blew away Myan­mar and Sin­ga­pore in their first two games, in a bid to seal a berth to the Fiba Asia Cham­pi­onship.

Thai­land, de­pite rest­ing Chitchai Ananti, their top scorer against Malaysia on Fri­day, picked up their se­cond win ear­lier by beat­ing Viet­nam 76-49. Devinder Singh

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