Vietnam suffered a heartbreaking loss against Thailand in the semifinal round, but are now looking ahead to the bronze medal match of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in Manila, Philippines.
Leading by as much as eight points down the stretch, but the Vietnamese squad couldn’t overcome a taller and more experienced Thailand side. Vietnam head coach Kevin Yurkus extended his congratulations to their opponents during the postgame press conference.
“It’s a great basketball game for the fans, for the organizing committee, for basketball in Southeast Asia. Obviously it’s a tough loss for us, but basketball is a game with wins and losses,” said the amiable American mentor. “In a good basketball game, someone is gonna have to win and someone has to lose. Credit to Thailand for making the plays down the stretch.”
One of Vietnam’s scorers Tam Dinh made five three-pointers in the first quarter, but was limited to just three points after that. Yurkus admitted Dinh’s lack of playing time due to foul trouble caused Vietnam on both end of the floor as well.
When asked about the team’s mentality after the loss, Yurkus said his team will be ready to face the loser between the Philippines and Indonesia, looking to bring home the bronze medal back to Vietnam.
“We don’t have time to think about this game, we need to be ready for the bronze medal game tomorrow,” continued Yurkus. “We will be anxiously watching the result between the Philippines and Indonesia game, and we will have a short turnaround for the bronze medal game tomorrow afternoon.”
Vietnam takes on Indonesia for the bronze, while Thailand gets to face the hosts Philippines in the tournament final on December 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Follow us on Twitter at @aseansports1.