01 May, 2022
28 February, 2023
8 Anand Ariunbold (MGL)
to read

Mongolia stay undefeated, Malaysia finally chalk up win no. 1

ULAANBAATAR (Mongolia) - Mongolia added to Vietnam's woes, 88-77, to stay perfect in the FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Pre-Qualifiers, Sunday night at the UG Arena.

Buoyed by an ecstatic sellout crowd once more, the hosts bucked a slow start before gaining enough steam to break away in the final period en route to their third win in as many outings while dealing their foes back-to-back losses.

Another balanced attack made wonders for the home team, led by the 17 points and 6 rebounds of Enkhbayasgalan Amarbayasgalan.

Enkhbaatar Onolbaatar made 16 points and 7 boards. Bilguun Battuvshin had 15 points, captain Sanchir Tungalag produced 12 markers, 7 caroms, 6 dimes, and 2 steals, as Boldbaatar Bat Erdene chipped in 10 in the win.

Amarbayasgalan and Onolbaatar, together with Anand Ariunbold, helped Mongolia to a 70-60 lead early in the fourth quarter. Their lead would eventually rise to 12 points, 82-70, thanks to Erdene with 3:16 left to play.

The Mongolians' victory served as a prelude to their highly-anticipated encounter with Thailand in a battle of 3-0 teams on Monday night.

Vietnam's loss, on the other hand, wasted the performances of Huynh Phu Vinh Nguyen and Khoa Dang Tran that saw them score 28 and 20, respectively.

The Southeast Asian squad dropped to 1-2 and will look to bounce back against another 1-2 team in Malaysia, who overcame a sluggish start to keep the free-falling Tahiti winless, 70-62, for their breakthrough win earlier.

Wong Yi Hou led the way with 27 points, 21 of which he made in the second half as he helped the Southeast Asian crew turn its fortunes around after scoring just a measly 8 points in the game's first 10 minutes while their foes had 20.

The national team veteran gave the Malaysians the lead for good through a three-point play conversion to end the third quarter, and was also responsible in pushing their lead to 70-59 through a jumper with only 2:07 left to play.

His efforts saved the contributions of Ting Chun Hong, Kuek Tian Yuan, and Zhen Jie Tem in the second canto, where they brought themselves back into the game by way of a 28-point explosion to enter the break behind narrowly.