GOLD WINNER. Ella Fajardo fouls a taller player from Malaysia that denied the Philippines of a sweep in the women 5x5 competition in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Malaysia on Sunday (May 22, 2022). Despite the loss, the Philippines clinched the gold medal via superior quotient as Malaysia suffered a 65-69 loss to host Vietnam on Saturday night. (Photo courtesy of Team Philippines)

MANILA – Gilas Pilipinas failed to complete a sweep in the Southeast Asian Games women's 5x5 basketball event after Malaysia rallied back to take a 96-93 win in their final assignment on Sunday at the Thanh Tri District Sporting Hall in Hanoi.

Despite already clinching the gold medal, Gilas failed to finish the tournament the way they wanted it as they blew a late seven-point lead in the end.

Down 71-77 after the first three quarters, Gilas began the fourth quarter on a 22-9 run to take a 93-86 lead with two and a half minutes left.

However, Gilas could not close out the game, and Malaysia went on a 10-0 run capped by Chong Yin Yin's game-winning three with 17 seconds left.

Chong then saved the game after blocking Chack Cabinbin's ill-advised two-pointer as time ran out on Gilas.

Chong and Yap Fook Yee each scored 25 points to lead Malaysia, which boosted its chances of landing the bronze medal.

Pang Hui Pin added 21 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

Malaysia will now hope for a Vietnam loss to Thailand later Sunday to clinch the bronze.

Janine Pontejos made 18 markers, six boards, three dimes, and one steal to lead Gilas, which will still walk away as back-to-back champs.

Gilas clinched the title following Malaysia's 65-69 loss to Vietnam on Saturday night.

Even if they won, though, the Malaysians would have still needed to beat Gilas by 21 points or more to steal the gold without any complication. (PNA)