PETALING JAYA: Former champions Malacca thrashed Penang 81-45 to storm into the final of the Agong Cup National Basketball Championships in Tawau.
Malacca, who last won the national title in 2011, suffered a surprise 69-70 loss to Police in last year’s final.
But, Friday, they made their intentions known right from the start, blitzing Penang 31-12 in the first quarter.
Led by several experienced players, Malacca did a solid job to limit Penang to just three points in the second quarter as they pushed ahead for a 46-15 lead at half-time.
Malacca continued to up the pace in the third quarter and, although Penang found their feet in the fourth quarter, it was too little too late as Malacca trooped off comfortable winners.
Captain and centre Chee Li Wei led the team with 14 points while Francis Loh added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Penang only had power forward Lee Chien Chung on song, leading the team with 16 points as they were woeful right from the start, converting just 17 of 71 field goal attempts.
Crucially though, Malacca made their inside presence felt as they garnered 40 points in the paint compared to just 16 by Penang.
Malacca will next face either defending champions Police or Sarawak for the title.
In the women’s semi-finals, Federal Territories (FT) made a late fourth quarter revival, coming back 33-38 down to beat Malacca 48-45.
Eugene Ting topscored for the city girls with 12 points while Lee Siew Fun contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Malacca’s Goh Beng Fong scored 16 points but it was not enough for them to join their male counterparts in the final.
FT will face defending champions Johor, who had a fairly easy 75-55 win over Pahang, for the title.
Captain Pang Hui Pin led the way with 20 points while forward Kew Suik May had 14 points and 10 rebounds.