MALACCA — Perlas Pilipinas plays Malaysia in a virtual championship game tonight as the Filipinas try to win the gold medal of the SEABA Women’s Championship for the first time in six years.
The two teams clash at 8 p.m. at the Bukit Serindit Indoor Stadium, with both teams looking to win this all-important game that could probably assure them of the title.
Pending the result of the Philippines’ game against Indonesia, which is being played as of press time, the Filipinas are expected to win their fourth straight game.
Malaysia has won its first three games with ease and after the Philippines, its next three games would be against lowly Laos and Thailand, games they are likely to hurdle.
For head coach Patrick Aquino, the game against Malaysia is the biggest match of the tournament.
Although the Philippines was able to beat Malaysia in the Southeast Asian Games last year in Singapore, the Filipinas lost to the Malaysians in the FIBA Asia Women’s Championship in 2015.
“Malaysia is a team you want to emulate. They’ve been together for so long. The program is solid, the system is great and they have the strong support both by the association and the government,” said Aquino.
The Philippines had won three straight games in lopsided fashion, including a 147-point beatdown of Laos. Should the Filipinas win their scheduled 8 p.m. encounter with Indonesia Friday and beat Malaysia today, they will become the second Philippine team to win the tournament after the 2010 PH squad won the tournament at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
The last Philippine team won was led by Cassie Tioseco, Melissa Jacobs and Nita Grajales, among others, and coached by Heidi Ong.
(Bukit Serindit Indoor Stadium)
4 p.m. – Thailand vs Laos
6 p.m. – Singapore vs Vietnam
8 p.m. – Malaysia vs Philippines