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    Perlas Pilipinas completes six-game romp to end six-year wait for Seaba cage title

    Sep 25, 2016
    Perlas Pilipinas players celebrate the country's first Seaba title in six years.

    PERLAS Pilipinas completed a sweep of the 2016 Seaba Championship for Women after dispatching long-time rival Thailand, 72-52, on Sunday in Melacca, Malaysia.

    Allana Lim had 15 points, while Afril Bernardino poured 14 markers for Perlas Pilipinas, which trailed by three at the end of the first quarter before outscoring Thailand, 19-9, in the second period.

    And the rout was on as the Philippines went on a 22-12 rampage in the payoff period to settle the score.

    With the victory, Perlas Pilipinas completed a six-game sweep of the single round-robin tournament, which formally ends after Monday’s tripleheader where Perlas drew a bye.

    The Philippines beat Malaysia, 77-73, on Saturday to clinch the crown.

    It was the first Seaba championship for the Filipina cagebelles since 2010.

    “This is a defining moment for Philippine women’s basketball. I’m happy for the girls. I’m happy for our supporter, Blackwater and I’m happy for the country. We did it,” said Perlas Pilipinas coach Patrick Aquino.

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    By winning its first five games, Perlas already guaranteed itself the championship.

    Even if the Philippines loses to Thailand, only Malaysia could catch up with Perlas at 5-1. The Filipinas will still be declared champion in such a scenario by virtue of the winner over the other rule.

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    Lim led the way for Perlas Pilipinas in the pivotal win over Malaysia with 16 points while Bernardino and Ambi Almazan finished with double-double performances.

    Bernardino tallied 14 points and 10 boards, while Almazan had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Perlas Pilipinas, which equalled the feat of the 2010 Philippine women's team coached by Heidi Ong.

    But the Philippines had to survive a late rally by Malaysia, which held the Filipinas without a field goal in the last three and a half minutes.

    The Philippines saw its 15-point lead in the final three and a half minutes nearly evaporate as Malaysia unloaded an 11-0 run.

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    Malaysia was in the thick of the fight at 77-73 in the closing seconds and got a big break when Raiza Dy missed from point blank range. But the Malaysians turned the ball over, allowing the Filipinas to secure the win.

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    Perlas Pilipinas players celebrate the country's first Seaba title in six years.
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