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Brunei end Asia Cup qualifiers with loss to Malaysia

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam national 3×3 basketball team concluded their campaign in Pool ‘D’ of the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup Qualifier with a 21-6 defeat to Malaysia at the Singapore Sports Hub in Singapore last Thursday.

There was some activity in Brunei’s play in the first few minutes of the tie but Malaysia quickly raced to a three-shot lead in a display of good teamwork.

But the Asia Cup debutants kept in touch with their opponents immediately as Jayden Chen came up with a two-pointer despite initially hitting the rim.

That brief individual play awakened Malaysia as a two-pointer shot by Chang Zi sparked a flurry of points.

The 11th seeded Malaysians, still reeling from the heartbreak loss against Iran in their penultimate match-up, made a 7-0 run on the bounce.

Brunei Darussalam national 3×3 basketball team in a group photo. PHOTO: BBA

Brunei ended the streak as a pick-and-roll approach led to their next point of the game with Jake Chong the beneficiary of a Lim Liang Wei’s pass.

Malaysia’s Chang was having a heater and an excellent two-pointer extended his side’s lead to double digits.

Despite a seemingly difficult outing, Lim made a good shot to add on to Brunei’s haul.

Xian Fu helped establish a commanding 12-point game and within touching distance of victory when he did good with a two-point attempt.

Malaysia committed their third personal foul of the game and Chong converted a free throw as Brunei looked to get as many points as possible.

But Brunei’s stay in the competition ultimately came to an end as a two-pointer unsurprisingly made by Malaysia sharpshooter Chang decided the match with two minutes of the clock remaining.

Group winners Iran’s reward from winning their qualifying group was a berth in the main draw of the competition, where the Philippines and Qatar await.

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