Malaysia holds off Vietnam in OT thriller

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Choo Wei Hong shot the marginal basket as Malaysia bucked a gallant stand from Vietnam and won in overtime, 86-85, in the SEABA Men's Championship at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday night.

Choo converted a jumper from just inside the three-point line with four seconds on the clock to keep the Malaysians from the Vietnamese upset.

Vietnam actually led for most of the game and was up, 68-62, early in the fourth quarter.

Malaysia, however, went on a 10-0 run to take a 72-68 lead later in the fourth.

Le Ngoc Tu then delivered in the clutch, scoring crucial baskets, including a runner that eventually forced overtime at 76-all.

Vietnam opened the extra session with five straight points only for Malaysia to answer with a 7-0 run for an 83-81 lead with 1:02 left.

Le scored on a layup to knot the count at 83 apiece with 50.2 seconds remaining.

To Quang Trung, however, committed a blunder when he fouled Heng Yee Tong from deep with 31.4 seconds left.

To got a sigh of relief as Heng made only one of three free throws, opening the possibility for Vietnam to reclaim the lead, which Le succeeded in doing so by nailing two free throws off a Ting Chun Hong foul with 11.4 seconds.

But Choo found himself open from the left wing for the go-ahead jumper with exactly four seconds remaining.

Le tried to win the game from beyond the arc, but Ting blocked the three-point attempt and Le muffed the ensuing putback as time expired.

Ting's game-saving block barely overshadowed a 28-point explosion from him off the bench, while Choo's game-winner capped a 20-point night for him.

True Han Minh led Vietnam with 20 markers, while Nguyen Van Hung added a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds.

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