Thailand secures a ticket to the Final after outlasting a relentless Vietnamese squad, 101-95, at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in Manila, Philippines.
Nattakarn Muangboon and Wattana Suttisin scored back-to-back clutch layups to help the Thail squad dash Vietnam’s hopes in the final seconds of the game.
Vietnam started the game hot, led by swingman Tam Dinh’s three deep three-pointers during the first four minutes. The hot-shooting Dinh added two more long bombs to give Vietnam a 31-28 lead at the end of the opening quarter.
The Vietnamese side was able to maintain their early lead until Thai-American Tyler Lamb scored a go-ahead basket to put the Thais in front by one point after the first twenty minutes.
Thailand continued to extend their lead up to 67-60 after big man Chanatip Jakrawan hit a mid-range jumper at the five minute mark of third quarter.
Vietnamese-American point guard Khoa Tran hit a dagger three with four minutes left in the final quarter to tie the game at 89-apiece. Dinh was able to cut the lead to a single possession with 36 seconds remaining, before Thailand held their ground to win late in the game.
Floor general Nattakarn Muangboon had an effective 19-point, five-assist, three-steal outing in this important game. Aside from Muangboon, sharpshooter Nakorn Jaisanuk also finished with 19 markers. Thailand had six players finish in double figure, with their bench contributing 42 points in the victory.
Vietnam was lead by athletic big man Chris Dierker, who had 31 points and 10 rebounds. Teammate Tam Dinh ended up 21 points after dropping as much as 18 points in the first quarter.
Thailand will face against the winner between host Philippines and Indonesia in the Final, while Vietnam faces the loser of that match, both on December 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
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