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ASEAN Games Australia 2014: “The Russians” win Men’s Basketball

Faridah Wu

Wed Sep 17 2014

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IT was a tense men’s basketball final as Malaysian team The Russians clinched the title in a narrow victory over the Philippines team Northwest Melbourne. Fari Wu reports.

The Men’s Basketball kicked off on Saturday September 13, with the finals held on Sunday September 14 at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC).

Eleven teams competed this year with each match being played in two halves and lasting a total of 40 minutes.

The finals were between The Russians – comprised of a mixed group of nationalities but mainly from Malaysia, and Northwest Melbourne from the Philippines.

The Russians were head to head with Northwest Melbourne in a closely contested match that started at 2.10pm.

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Team Malaysia The Russians. Photo: Aun Ngo.

Both teams heralded strong players, including former national basketball player for Malaysia Benjamin Sim who was representing The Russians.

Northwest Melbourne was made up of a close knit group of players mainly from the northern area of the Philippines.

When the halftime buzzer rang, The Russians were leading by a narrow margin of 28-25.

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Team Philippines Northwest Melbourne. Photo: Aun Ngo.

Each team had their fair share of fans cheering them on. The audience also joined in, with cheers and shouts, even trying to distract the players during their free throws.

Northwest Melbourne played an aggressive game, shouting advice to team mates in their native tongue Tagalog, with tension rising on court between the teams as the clock ticked on.

Related story: ASEAN Games Australia 2014: Indonesia takes home Women’s Basketball title

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Photo: Aun Ngo.

But despite their best efforts to dominate, The Russians persisted to the end, winning 59-54.

The game concluded at 3pm.

In third place, behind Northwest Melbourne, was Melbourne Ace from Indonesia.