Malaysia out to get past hosts for first gold

MALAYSIA are just one win away from winning the polo gold – on borrowed horses – for a third straight time in the SEA Games.

But they must first settle the score with hosts Philippines in the final at the Inigo Zobel Polo Field in Catalagan on Sunday.

If they win, it will be Malaysia’s first gold in the Games.

Malaysia, the Korat 2007 and Kuala Lumpur 2017 champions, booked their place in the final after beating Brunei 8-5.5 in their third and last round-robin match to finish second to the Philippines.

Malaysia had defeated Indonesia 11-7.5 in the opening fixture last Sunday but they were beaten 5-8.5 by the hosts in their second match.

Team manager Datuk Mohd Zekri Ibrahim has hailed his side’s superb fighting spirit.

“Our team have done very well despite not having the best preparations, ” said Zekri.

“We borrowed horses for this competition and did not have much time to train. Still, the team defied the odds to make it this far.

“Credit to our star duo Tengku A. Shazril (Ezzani Tengku Sulaiman) and Rashid Hasnan who got us all the crucial goals to get us into the final.

“Our reserve player Mohd Shariezal (Baseri) has also impressed in his debut as he covered well for Syed Ahmad Saipulrudin, who got injured during a clash with the Philippines.

“Malaysia will try to avenge the defeat and retain the title won two years ago.”

Another gold is also in sight from the netball team at the Santa Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna, as Malaysia sealed their place in the semi-finals after notching their third straight win by outclassing Brunei 69-23 yesterday.

Malaysia will be playing arch-rivals Singapore today to determine the preliminary stage winner.

Malaysia and Singapore both have six points but Malaysia are ahead on better goal difference of plus 129 (219-90) against Singapore’s plus 100 (202-102).

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