KUALA LUMPUR – Team Malaysia was bested by the Philippines in their third game of the SEA Games 2017 despite having two ‘Pinoys’ sent off the court, 66-98. Baser Amer and Carl Bryan Cruz were both sent off court after Kuek Tian Yuan and Kevin Ferrer were caught in an arm-lock. Amer was sent off trying to start a fight while Cruz was caught walking onto court when that incident happened. The game started off well for the Malaysian as they took the first quarter with a two point lead when Kuek Tian Yuan scored a three-point with 3 minutes to go, 16-15. However, things took a turn in the second quarter when Kobe Lorenzo Paras was substituted in and scored 6 points back to back for his team which put them in a good momentum. This carried on into the third quarter and Malaysia struggled to claw their way back as they were missing too many shots in transition. The Pinoys took advantage of those misses and turned them into successful counters and pushed to a 20-point lead by half-time. Gaps in the Malaysian team’s defense allowed the Philippines to inch away with their lead. Even though the Philippines had more turnovers than the home team, they were not converted into points as they (Philippines) had a stronger defense which forced Malaysia to take long ranged shots. “They were tighter and bigger defensively which made us rely on shooting from the outside,” said Coach Goh Cheng Huat. “They are a very strong team defensively and offensively and they definitely deserved the win.” “’Regardless of the outcome of tonight, I’m very proud of our team and the way we played against one of the strongest team in Asia.” Malaysia will be playing again this Saturday against the bottom team of Group B.