MANILA---Discovery Perlas ng Pilipinas neutralized Malaysia’s height advantage with a burst of three-pointers to prevail, 59-39, yesterday and book a ticket to the finals of the 7th Southeast Asian Basketball Association Women’s Championship at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
Melissa Jacob opened the decisive fourth period with three consecutive triples and Merenciana Arayi followed it up with another three as the RP cagebelles built a double-digit lead and were never threatened the rest of the way.
Cassy Tioseco’s barreling move inside the lane with six minutes gave the Filipinos their biggest lead, 54-34.
The victory sealed the RP’s title showdown tomorrow with unbeaten Thailand.
“Those three-pointers snuffed their confidence,” said RP women’s coach Haydee Ong.
But it was Ong’s defensive ploy in the second half that helped them notch the win over the Malaysians, who had a gigantic frontline of 6-foot-4 Ching Yee Yap, 6-3 Kalaimathi Rajintiran and 6-2 Siew Lee.
“Our defense keyed the win for us,” Ong added. “I told them the need to defend, and they responded well.”
Charothai Suksomwong erupted for 29 points and Juthamas Jantakan added 22 as Thailand demolished Indonesia, 118-50, in the other game for its second straight win.
The defending champion Thais sizzled for 39 points in the first period and never looked back in sending the Indonesians to their second defeat in three games.
“We will size them (Thais) up, so we will come in prepared,” said Ong.
The team sponsored by Discovery Perlas crushed Singapore on opening day.
The Nationals defeated the Thais during the 2007 tournament’s elimination round held in Phuket, but lost the championship to the hosts.
PHILIPPINES 59—Jacob 15, Tioseco 15, Arayi 11, Pineda 6, Adriano 6, Mercado 2, Valencia 2, Grajales 2, Borja 0, Gloriani 0, Jose 0, Tolentino 0.
MALAYSIA 39—Pang 17, Kew 7, Wong 5, Teo 3, Chen 3, Yong 2, Yap 2, Rajintiran 0, Lee 0, Choo 0.
Quarters: 10-5, 20-18, 40-32, 59-39.