|Đinh Thanh Tâm of Việt Nam (centre) on the attack during a match between Việt Nam and Laos in Group B of the 32nd SEA Games on May 14 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Việt Nam won 99-52. — Photos of VBA|
HÀ NỘI — Both Việt Nam's men's and women's basketball teams won their matches on May 14 during the 32nd SEA Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
On the men's side, Việt Nam faced Laos in Group B's last match which was to decide who would advance to the fifth-place playoff.
Facing an underdog rival, Việt Nam quickly went ahead with a flurry of points from veteran Đinh Thanh Tâm, who is competing in his fourth SEA Games.
The team led 24-5 after the first seven minutes.
Teammates Nguyễn Văn Hùng, Nguyễn Tiến Dương and Corey Cilia also brought many points to Việt Nam when Laos' small-size defenders failed to stop the Vietnamese attacks.
Coach Todd Purves got all of his 12 players on the court in this match. Half of them scored at least 10 points.
After four quarters, Việt Nam won 99-52 and placed third in Group B. They will see Malaysia, the third-place team of Group A, in the playoff on May 16.
Hours later, Việt Nam women's team found their second win in the tournament, beating Cambodia 86-77.
|Nguyễn Thị Tiểu Duy of Việt Nam tries to score during a match between Việt Nam and Cambodia. Việt Nam win 86-77.|
Both teams had no chance to be in the top three after three losses. Việt Nam were No. 5 while Cambodia were No. 6 prior to their game.
In addition to a huge number of local supporters, Vietnamese players also faced many naturalised players from the host side who created many challenges throughout the match.
Cambodian Brittany Dinkins was the most impressive player as she scored 20 when it was in the early minutes of the second quarter. Her brilliant performance helped Cambodia lead 46-44.
Việt Nam gradually found their rhythm in the third quarter. Nguyễn Thị Tiểu Duy, Đặng Thị Thúy Hằng and the Trương Twins kept scoring and made many three-pointers. They narrowed the gap and went ahead 69-62.
In the last quarter, Cambodian naturalised players, who shouldered the heavy burden of leading the whole team, were exhausted. Their attacks did not bring points home. Dinkins and Simmons Meighansharee could not produce more three-pointers as in the previous quarters.
It was time for Duy to prove her skills with many accurate shots, leading Việt Nam to the 86-77 win.
Duy was the best forward of Việt Nam with 24 points while Hằng had her best match of the tournament with 18 points.
After nearly one week of competition, Indonesia ensured its championship after winning all six matches.
Defending champions the Philippines and Malaysia will vie for the second and third places.
After beating Cambodia, Việt Nam jumped to No. 4. They will meet Singapore today. A win will help them to keep their position. — VNS