Perlas stuns Thailand with epic comeback to keep gold-medal hopes alive
Afril Bernardino leans in for a jumper against Thailand. Jerome Ascano

KUALA LUMPUR - Perlas Pilipinas kept its gold medal hopes alive after storming back to beat many-time champion Thailand in dramatic fashion, 69-67, on Wednesday night in the 29th Southeast Asian Games at the MABA Stadium here.

Allana Lim delivered the winning basket with 11 seconds left to cap a telling 16-2 run by the Filipina cagebelles going home.

Defeat was staring Perlas straight in the face as it trailed, 65-53, with five minutes left before it dug in and delivered the lethal run.

The big win kept the team's hope alive for a breakthrough gold in the tournament as it is now tied with tormentor Indonesia with a 3-1 slate for second place.

Perlas, which trailed by as many as 45-30, at the half, will now play defending champion and host Malaysia at 10 a.m Thursday, with the Filipinas' gold medal bid on the line. The Malaysians are undefeated with a 3-0 slate.

Lim topscored for Perlas with 16 points, Janine Pontejos added 14, and Amby Almazan with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

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