Malaysia’s hopes of entering basketball meet’s last eight ends

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s faint hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the 26th Fiba Asian Championship basketball tournament ended after crashing 62-109 to Taiwan in second round Group E match in Wuhan, China, yesterday.

Malaysia went into the match knowing that they could, mathematically, still qualify for the last eight.

However, they found Taiwan just too hot to handle and trailed 36-51 at halftime.

Captain B. Guganeswaran led the team with 15 points while Chee Li Wei and Kwaan Yoong Jin had 13 and 12 points respectively.

Malaysia will now take on UAE in the playoffs for 9th-12th spots tomorrow.

It is still a tremendous achievement for Malaysia, whose 71-67 win over India on Friday was the first time they have won a match since 1995. Malaysia have also generally finished last over the years in the 16-team tournament.

“We beat the UAE in the Jones Cup recently and they know our strengths and weaknesses,” said national coach Goh Cheng Huat.

“Still, we want to win the match and I have a few ideas on how to use the players in order to surprise the UAE.”

Malaysia’s main rivals for the SEA Games, the Philippines, topped Group F with four wins and one loss while Indonesia ended their campaign in 13th place after beating India 84-75.

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