SEA Games: Injured Kalaimathi stars in Malaysia's basketball gold medal win

SINGAPORE, June 15 — The women's basketball team were in sizzling form to beat Vietnam in the final and contribute the country's 60th SEA Games gold medal, here today.

The women cagers under the guidance of coach Yoong Sze Yuin beat Vietnam 82-50 to complete their fixture with four wins and a defeat.

"This is a very positive achievement since did not win any medals in the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games. In the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia we only managed to win a bronze medal.

"The squad had started preparations since March with only five players from the squad that played in Myanmar retained. I drafted young players to prepare for the SEA Games in Singapore and the 2017 SEA Games to be hosted by Malaysia," said Yoong.

In the match that was played at the OCBC Arena Hall at the Singapore Sports Hub, R. Kalaimathi emerged as the top scorer although she has yet to recover fully from a knee injury.

Kalaimathi scored 14 of the 82 points in the match.

"Before coming here, I was sceptical of playing. Even the doctors did not give me the green light to play because I was still undergoing rehabilitation and physiotherapy.

"The knee was still painful but I continued playing and happy to have did my part to win the gold," said the 25-year-old player from Segamat, Johor.

The last time Malaysia had won a gold medal was in 2007 when Thailand hosted the SEA Games in Korat.

Yoong said after the SEA Games campaign, the squad would continue training for the FIBA Asia Women Championship in China that has been scheduled in August.

"Currently we are playing in Division 2 but I hope we can move up to Division One," said Yoong. — Bernama

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