All to play for as SSPL 2018/19 Stage 1 goes down the wire KBC beat TCBC to remain in fourth

CYBERJAYA (4 January 2019): It’s all to play for on the final two days of the SSPL 2018/19 Stage 1 as Petaling Badminton Club (Petaling BC) put themselves in a difficult position as they fell unexpectedly, 10-12 to Serdang Badminton Club (Serdang BC) on Day 12 at the Gem In Mall, Cyberjaya today.

Needing to secure a victory to dislodge overnight leader and defending champions, Puchong United Badminton Club (PUBC), the unthinkable happened as Serdang BC recorded the upset of the season to move one rung to fifth place and in the process kept their hopes alive going into the second stage next week.

For Petaling BC who are now in second, they will have to win in the do or die battle with PUBC on Sunday to make it through automatically to the final round in Genting or risk leaving their fate to be decided in the second stage.

Ampang Jaya Badminton Club (AJBC), who are due to play against Serdang BC tomorrow, are almost certain of going on top with a win, which would leave Petaling BC in third by the end of the day. Only the top two teams are certain of qualifying automatically for the final round in Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting on 24th to 27th January.

Petaling BC head coach, Ismail Saman, revealed that the pressure had gotten to his players making them unable to perform at their true level.

“The players who were unable to perform due to the pressure placed on them, prior to this they were set a target of being in the top 3.

“But, when they managed to achieve it, I challenged them to go for top 2, the players could not deliver. Credit to the Serdang (mixed doubles) pair who played well, defeating (Chen)Tan Jie-Gronya (Somerville) who also gave their best,” he added.

Opening men’s singles, Cheam June Wei put Petaling BC in the lead when he defeated China’s rising star, Liu Zejia, 3-1 (11-10, 8-11, 11-1, 11-10).

In an all Indonesian affair, Lyanny Alessandra Mainaky levelled the tie 4-4 when she defeated Gabriela Meilani Moningka 3-1 (11-6, 11-8, 10-11, 2-1) right on the buzzer.

Independent shuttler, Goh V Shem continued his good form in the SSPL, partnering Chia Shun Kang for his third straight victory, this time against Lwi Sheng Hao-Ong Wei Khoon, 3-2 (9-11, 11-3, 10-11, 11-3, 11-4) for a slender 7-6 lead.

Previously, V Shem who partners Tan Wee Kiong at the international stage, achieved two victories, with Shun Kang and Man Wei Chong respectively.

Serdang Badminton Club (Serdang BC) then overturned the deficit to take a shock 9-8 lead when Chinese mixed doubles pair, Guo Yuchen-Liu Lin played the match of their lives to defeat Malaysian-Australian pair, Chen Tang Jie-Gronya Somerville, 3-1 (11-6, 11-9, 10-11, 11-10).

Ng Tze Yong turned spoiler when he defeated Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin who recently turned independent, 3-2 (11-7, 5-11, 11-7, 7-11, 9-3) for a 12-10 result.

In a later match, last season’s finalist, Kepong Badminton Club (KBC) remained in fourth after a 13-7 win against debutant, Tebrau City Badminton City (TCBC).

KBC got their winning points through Lim Chi Wing (men’s singles), Lu Ching Yao-Yang Po Han (men’s doubles), Cheah Yee See-Mohd Azriyn Nur Ayub (mixed doubles) and Soong Joo Ven (men’s singles).