By JONAS TERRADO
Gilas Pilipinas is assured of winning the gold in women’s basketball after Malaysia’s 69-65 loss to host Vietnam in the 31st Southeast Asian Games Saturday, May 21 in Hanoi.
Playing in front of their supporters at the Tranh Tri Gymnasium, the Vietnamese cagebelles led by 11 in the fourth quarter before staving off the Malaysian rally in the final minutes to secure the victory.
The result was beneficial for Gilas as the Nationals will end the Games as No. 1even they drop their Sunday game with the Malaysians.
The Malaysians and the hosts are tied at 2-2 while the PH team of coach Pat Aquino remains undefeated in four games – their latest win was an 88-61 over the Singaporeans.
Aquino’s squad can afford to lose since it holds the tiebreaker in the event Gilas finishes the round-robin competition tied at 4-1 with Indonesia.
Gilas defeated Indonesia, 93-77, in the opener last Monday.
But Aquino is expected to coach his team as if the gold remains at stake.