Malaysia's Chan Ying Chee (left) falls while trying to stop a Thailand player in their match yesterday. Malaysia won 61-60 to take gold.
THE national women's basketball team played the match of their lives against hosts Thailand which finally won them the gold medal at the Keelapirom Stadium in Suranaree University of Technology yesterday.
The winning point came with just four seconds remaining in overtime when Chow Siao Foong completed a free shot after being a victim of a foul. But until the 50-point mark, they were trailing the home team by at least three or four points at any one time. They drew level at 53-53 just before regulation time ended.
The match went into overtime and the gutsy Malaysian girls managed six points to the Thais' five to bring home the gold medal for the fourth consecutive time.
Tears flowed freely from the players and officials when the match ended. The small band of Malaysian supporters also ran onto the court to hug and congratulate the players.
She disclosed that sometime in the third quarter they employed a strategy which was to tire out the Thais and go for the kill. "I think it worked."
Coach Tan See Wah was ecstatic and said: "I have won nine Sea Games gold medals but this time is the happiest of them all."
He said it was difficult to play in such an intimidating atmosphere. "But the girls are tough. They are young players with limited international exposure. But I am proud they came out victorious."