Friday, December 14, 2007

Veteran Chow leads Malaysia to one-point win over hosts

TEARS of joy flowed freely in the Malaysian camp as the women’s basketball team won their fourth consecutive SEA Games gold medal at the Keelapirom Stadium last night.

And they achieved it in the most dramatic fashion, coming from behind to beat hosts Thailand 61-60 in extra time.

The Malaysians were up against the odds from the start when they trooped on to the court to the deafening sounds generated by the Thai supporters.

They trailed 27-31 and 38-40 going into the fourth and final quarter of the match to decide the gold medallists in the round-robin competition. But the Malaysians kept up the pressure and levelled the score at 55-55 with 30 seconds remaining on the clock.

Region’s best: The Philippines’ basketball team rejoice after winning the men’s gold yesterday. – AP
It was the most experienced player in the team, Chow Siao Foong, who turned the tide by sinking a three-pointer in extra time to put Malaysia ahead 58-55 and she came to the rescue again moments later.

Thailand forced their way back into the match to level at 60-60 with four successive free throws but 31-year-old Siao Foong rose to the occasion to sink the winner with 59 seconds on the clock, also from a free throw despite hecklings from the Thai supporters.

Siao Foong said it was the sweetest victory for them to bag the gold after a four-year wait.

Malaysia wrested the gold from Thailand at the 1997 Jakarta Games but women’s basketball was not staged in Brunei two years later. Malaysia were again champions in the 2001 KL Games and retained the title in Vietnam two years later.


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