VICTORY went to Malaysia and Indonesia in the men’s and women’s basketball divisions respectively in the first ever ASEAN games held in Melbourne.
All the games took place over the course of a single day at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. Each basketball match lasted 30 minutes, and was played in two halves.
A total of 12 teams signed up to play in the men’s division, seven representing the nations of Malaysia, four for Indonesia and a single Brunei team. Teams played a total of 3 matches in the elimination-style competition – and teams that gained two out of three match won in their individual categories were guaranteed a place in the semi-finals.
In the women’s division, two teams from Malaysia and Indonesia faced off in a similar “best-of-three” style.
With Brunei unable to overcome the odds, it was two Indonesian teams and two Malaysian teams that made it to the males’ semi-finals. Team A1, captained by Arvin Hartanto, were to play against Team C1, led by Raymond Soo, while Team B1 captained by Christopher Teo played against Team D1, led by Ernaldo Sanyoto.
Both semi-final matches were an exciting affair. While Team C1 initially led their semi-final match against Team A1 at half-time with a score of 11-7, it was Team A1 that ultimately won a place in the finals with a final match score of 30-24. The game between Team B1 and D1 was much closer, with Team B1 narrowly squeezing a place in the finals with a one-point lead in the 28-27 score game.
While it was Indonesia team D1 who won the third-place match, the determining final match between Teams A1 and B1 ended with a 34-24 score, to Malaysia.
Winning Malaysian team member Tik said “it was a good game”.
“We played really well, we stand as team, we played hard defense,” he said.
The first-runner ups were gracious about their loss, and team member William said he thought his team had fun and played really well, despite coming in second.
William said he was looking forward to participating in the games again next year.
In the women’s division, Indonesia went home with gold.
The winning team said the competition “was good, and [they] had fun”, but was looking forward to seeing more female teams represented in the ASEAN games next year.
Malaysia’s basketball team captain Jing Ying echoed similar sentiments, saying “it was good competition” and that “the team was aggressive, with good defense.”
She also said the girls on her team had never really played before, and that the day of the competition was the first most of them had met each other.
“But even though it was only one other team playing against us, we still wanted to play basketball, and get to know other people and compete,” she said.
When asked if she and her teammates would return should there be a next ASEAN games, Jing Ying said “[they’d] definitely still be up for it”.
Most Valuable Player
The icing on the cake for Malaysia was when the nation saw one of their own take home the coveted “Most Valuable Player” award in the men’s division.
Winner Benjamin Sim said he “shocked, because [the team members] all voted for another person in the team”.
He received a paid air ticket back to Malaysia, courtesy of Air Asia.
Want all the latest news from the ASEAN Student Games 2011? Check back with us for more stories throughout the day.