Perlas coach Aquino sees Malaysia as women's hoops model ahead of potential title decider

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--For Perlas Pilipinas coach Patrick Aquino, if there is one team that defines what a successful national women's basketball team should be, it is Malaysia.

“Malaysia is a team you want to emulate. They’ve been together for so long. The program is solid, the system is great and they have the strong support both by the association and the government,” explained Aquino, whose team is above Malaysia in the standings.

However, both teams will enter Saturday night unbeaten, and they will face off next.

Perlas and Malaysia collide in what is now the most anticipated match in the SEABA Women's Championship in Malacca following the former's walloping of Indonesia.

Both squads will head to their match at the Bukit Sendirit Stadium with their immaculate records on the line, and maybe the SEABA title as well.

With the tournament only being decided on which team has the best record, the said match between the Malaysians and the Filipinas at 8 p.m. could serve as the championship game. Both teams still have Thailand, which has already incurred two losses, in their remaining schedule even as the Malaysians also have Laos, which the Filipinas mauled by 147 points on Wednesday night, in their fixtures.

Malaysia, currently at 3-0, took the Friday off, leaving the door open for Perlas to take the solo lead in the tournament, which the team did.

Both Perlas and Malaysia split their two meetings last year, with Perlas winning in their SEA Games match and Malaysia getting back in the FIBA Asia Women's Championship.

Malaysia will bank on the all-around game of Pang Hui Pin and the solid off-the-bench contributions of Chong Yin Yin.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno