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Perlas Pilipinas nears cage title

MALACCA, MALAYSIA – Payback time for Perlas Pilipinas.

The Filipinas turned back Indonesia, the same team which defeated our national squad in last year’s Southeast Asian Game, following a vengeful 72-56 triumph in the SEABA Women’s Championship at the Bukit Serindit Indoor Stadium here.

Facing a team that cost the Filipinas their chance of winning the gold medal in the Singapore Games, the Filipinas came out smoking right from the get go.

They dictated the tempo of the game early using their vaunted pressure defense, but the Filipinas also used their activity in getting the rebounds, which produced them 24 second chance points.

Overall, the Philippines out rebounded Indonesia, 56-37.

Allana Lim finished with a near double-double performance of 24 points and nine rebounds while Cindy Resultay contributed 15 to lead the Filipinas to this morale-boosting win heading to their virtual championship showdown with Malaysia.

“They have this belief that they won against us in the SEA Games and they can beat us again. But we came prepared also. But it’s payback time. We had the chance to win the gold, but we lost to Indonesia,” said Aquino.

Indonesia played its best game of the tournament against the Philippines, but couldn’t come closer than eight points, which happened when it unleashed a 15-6 run to trim the Philipines’ lead to only eight, 51-43, in the third period.

But baskets from Lim and split charities from Ambi Almazan pushed Perlas Pilipinas lead to 15, 68-53, with 4:11 left.

The Philippines is currently playing Malaysia as of press time at 8 p.m. in a make a break game.

The Filipinas can win the gold medal for the first time with a win against the host team and end a six-year drought in this tournament.