KUALA LUMPUR: The SEA Games-bound women cagers suffered a demoralising defeat in their first real test at the Maba Malaysia Basketball Invitational tournament when they were outmatched 58-77 by Taiwanese professional side Chunghwa Telecom at the Maba Stadium.
Going into the half-time break with a slender two-point lead, poor shooting in the second half allowed Chunghwa to gain dominance yesterday.
The visitors’ two centres made their presence felt under the basket with Lin Chi-wen contributing 24 points while Shieh Pei-chon picked up 14 points and 14 rebounds.
National captain Yap Fook Yee’s 16 points was not enough to help Malaysia and the women’s national head coach Yoong Sze Yuin was not smiling.
“We made several turnovers towards the end that led to crucial fast break points for them and it cost us the match, ” lamented Sze Yuin.
“And we failed to stay in the game mentally when our field goal conversion in the second half was not good enough.
“Physically we are fine but we need to build up our mental endurance.”
“They are the second best professional team in Taiwan but this is the kind of matches we have to expect at the SEA Games.”
The women’s team will need to improve if they are looking to mount a strong challenge for a third consecutive SEA Games gold medal.
They won it in Singapore in 2015 and Kuala Lumpur in 2017.
The team have two more matches against Tohoku Gakuin University from Japan and Fo Guang University from China.
“We have to bounce back in these two games and polish up quickly before the SEA Games.”
Meanwhile in the men’s competition, the Westports Malaysia Dragons also struggled to find their offensive game as they fell 46-54 to Australian side ACBA Dragons.
They will be looking to bounce back against the Wah Chin Kings today.
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