Ma. Anna Tolentino towers over Singapore’s Jayne Sarah Tan, Juliana Ang and Nicole Lau in their opening day showdown. The RP cagebelles routed the Singaporeans, 101-34. JOEY MENDOZA
Philippines - After cruising past unfancied Singapore on opening day, host Philippines gets its real test today when the Filipinas battle five-time champion Malaysia in the seventh SEABA Women’s Championship at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
The Discovery Perlas Pilipinas cagebelles slug it out with the Malaysians at 4 p.m. aiming for a second straight win that will boost their bid for a slot in the finals of the five-team tournament.
“We’ll give them a good game,” RP coach Haydee Ong said on the eve of the crucial Philippines-Malaysia tiff. “They have some pretty good players down low and quick perimeter shooters so we have to work on our interior and perimeter defense against them.”
The Filipinas got off to a big start in the single round-robin tournament, routing Singapore, 101-34, behind a sleek running game and pressure defense. Ong managed to give all her 12 players ample playing time against the Singaporeans with Ma. Anna Tolentino topscoring with 19 points and snaring 10 rebounds.
A 10-0 start was all it took for the hosts to blow Singapore out of the game.
“The girls played with no let up from start to finish,” Ong said after that 67-point rout. “We’ll carry this over to our game against Malaysia.”
The RP-Malaysia tussle became much more crucial after defending champion Thailand trounced the Malaysians, 78-64, yesterday. The Thais joined the hosts at the helm with 1-0 while Malaysia slipped to 1-1.
Banmoo Naruemol fired 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Panurushthanon added 15 for the Thais, who broke away from the Malaysians with an 8-2 windup in the second canto for a 39-29 spread.
In the first game, Indonesia defeated Singapore, 70-61, for a 1-1 slate. Singapore fell to 0-2.