CYBERJAYA (26 December 2018): It was a Boxing Day cracker served up by arguably two of the best teams this season as Ampang Jaya Badminton Club (AJBC) laid down a statement of intent in the SS Purple League 2018/19, overcoming closest challengers, Puchong United Badminton Club (PUBC), 9-6 tonight.
With world number one, Kento Momota in the ‘House of Champions’, the stage was set for another exciting display of badminton as the world champion pulled out all the stops to thrill another jam packed Gem In Mall for the second day running.
His opponent, Lee Cheuk Yiu from Hong Kong went all out attacking in the first game, trying to find chinks in the armour of the samurai. Momota was troubled at first but then he upped his game with his intelligent control and deft shot making to steer the match to safety, 3-0 (11-8, 11-4, 11-4).
“It was a good experience for me, this tournament’s format of play is different from the other countries.
“My opponent was all out attacking and I learnt how to control this type of player,” said Momota through his interpreter, Miyuki Komiya.
National women’s number one, Goh Jin Wei then solidified AJBC’s lead with a dominant 3-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-3) against compatriot, Ho Yen Mei.
Tan Boon Heong-Teo Ee Yi then put points on board for PUBC with a 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-8) against Malaysian-Indonesian pair, Lim Tze Jian-Lukhi Apri Nugroho in the men’s doubles, sparking PUBC’s hopes of a comeback.
PUBC’s hopes were raised when Malaysian-Hong Kong partnership, Goh Liu Ying-Tang Chun Man beat Chan Peng Soon-Shevon Lai Jemie, 3-0 (11-9, 11-9, 11-10) to level the tie 6-6. It must have been a pitter pill to swallow for Peng Soon who won the silver medal with Liu Ying in the mixed doubles Rio Olympics 2016.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man, Tan Jia Wei stepped up to the court, determined to settle the issue and he did it in style, winning 3-0 (11-5, 11-7, 11-7) over PUBC stalwart, Goh Giap Chin and in the process, land a body blow towards PUBC’s chances of retaining the title.
“A lot of people are going to say that Ampang Jaya are the favourites after this, but we have to keep our feet on the ground,” said manager, Ho Khek Mong after the tie.
“We have to be wary of Kepong and Puchong, who will be reshuffling their players for their next matches. We can’t afford to relax and have to maintain our focus for the upcoming matches,” he added.
With their third consecutive victory, AJBC, who are gunning for their maiden title, are the only team still with a 100% record.
In the earlier tie, national player, Soong Joo Ven became the toast of Kepong Badminton Club (Kepong BC) as his 2-2 result against Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin gave last year’s finalist a 10-8 victory against Petaling Badminton Club (Petaling BC).
It was their second win after their 15-6 success against Serdang Badminton Club (Serdang BC). For Petaling BC, it is their second defeat after their opening 9-10 loss to the hot favourites, Ampang Jaya BC on the opening day.