SEA Games: Gilas Women survive Malaysia, set up gold medal game vs Thais
MANILA, Philippines — Afril Bernardino dove for the ball and secured a crucial possession for the Philippines late against defending champion Malaysia Sunday night.
Bernardino’s hustle play also secured the Philippines a shot at a breakthrough gold medal in women’s basketball competitions in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
With Bernardino delivering a performance to remember, Gilas Pilipinas Women held on to topple Malaysia, 81-75, and arrange a gold medal showdown with fellow unbeaten team Thailand on Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The gutsy guard wanted it more than anyone else as she dazzled with 18 points, 19 rebounds and three blocks.
Gilas’ other guard Janine Pontejos also came up big down the stretch. Pontejos calmly drained two free throws to give the Filipinos a three-point cushion before hitting a tough floater to push it to five, 79-74, with 51.8 seconds left.
Bernardino then put the finishing touches with a pair of freebies with 27 ticks to go.
Jack Animam added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Gilas, which blew a 12-point lead in the third quarter and had to rally from five points down in the final frame.
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