Chee Huei the in­spirer

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MALAYSIA turned on the power in the third quar­ter to down Myan­mar 96-71 and se­cure fourth place at the South­east Asian Basketball Cham­pi­onship in Manila yes­ter­day.

Liaw Chee Huei rose to the oc­ca­sion to score 25 points in lead­ing the Malaysian charge while also grab­bing seven re­bounds and pro­vid­ing five as­sists.

He was ably sup­ported by Chin Zhi Shin, who in ad­di­tion to scor­ing 22 points, also had 13 re­bounds in a com­mand­ing dis­play off the board while Heng Yee Tong and Teo Kok Hou con­trib­uted 12 and 11 points re­spec­tively.

Vet­eran Chan Kek Thai was not used dur­ing the game by coach Goh Cheng Huat, who opted to give more game time to play­ers who did not get as many min­utes in the first five games.

In any case, the young Malaysian line-up started well by open­ing the first quar­ter with a 9-0 run to build a 12-point lead head­ing into the sec­ond pe­riod.

The sec­ond quar­ter was a high­scor­ing pe­riod with Malaysia just about outscor­ing Myan­mar 27-26 to head into the half-time break with a 45-32 lead.

But Malaysia came out fir­ing in the third quar­ter when they went on a 11-2 run to ex­tend the lead to 22 points and vir­tu­ally put the game be­yond Myan­mar.

Start­ing the fi­nal 10 min­utes with a 75-52 ad­van­tage, Cheng Huat had the lux­ury of giv­ing his bench play­ers a run out as Malaysia cruised to a third con­sec­u­tive vic­tory fol­low­ing wins over Singapore and Viet­nam.

Malaysia ended the seven-team tour­na­ment with a 3-3 record de­spite leav­ing up to six key play­ers be­hind as Cheng Huat opted to field a young team to ex­plore his op­tions ahead of the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games in Au­gust.

The Philippines fin­ished the round robin league top of the stand­ings to qual­ify for the Fiba Asia Cham­pi­onship while In­done­sia and Thai­land ended sec­ond and third re­spec­tively. Devinder Singh

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