PUCHONG (1 OCTOBER, 2017): Cheras BC are the new Junior Purple League (JPL) champions after two wins in the final match day of the season at Sports Arena Puchong today and eventually ended Petaling BC’s dominance of the JPL after their consecutive wins in the previous two editions.
The title was already clinched in the morning session when last season’s seventh placed team beat Petaling Jaya BC 11-9 to secure a sizable gap from their nearest challengers.
In that match, Cheras BC’s Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin lost out to K.Jhotiswaran 1-3 (11-5, 9-11, 10-11, 9-11) before the reliable sister pairing of Benyapa Aimsaard/Nuntakarn Aimsaard grabbed the lead back with an easy 3-0 (11-5, 11-2, 11-0) win over Petaling Jaya BC’s B.Panimaller/Vidya Lakhsmi.
Cheras BC extended their lead when Ng Wan Win/V. Roobenraj won their mixed doubles match 3-2 (9-11, 11-10, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9) over V.Dharshine/Muhd Shafiq Yaacob only for Petaling Jaya BC’s girls’ singles player Letshanaa Karupathevan to even the score at 8-8 with a 3-1 (11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7) win over N.Saranya.
Muhd Aizat Mohd Azib/Muhd Faris Zaim Abd Khalid then sealed the tie for Cheras BC by overcoming Lo Chun Hann/Lo Chun Hoong 3-1 (11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9) to bag a historic JPL Division 1 triumph with a match to spare.
In the evening session of the final leg, Cheras BC reshuffled their squad to face Puchong United BC and still came out on top 13-5 to stay unbeaten throughout the campaign.
Cheras BC’s head coach, Rashid Sidek was in jovial mood but admitted his surprise of how his team stayed unbeaten all through the season.
“I am quite shocked that we won so many matches since our squad has no real star names. Our local players really shone this season alongside the two imports from Thailand which gave us an unexpected edge,” he said.
“As the season went on, our players showed what they are capable of and played to their level best to make history in the JPL. I am very satisfied and hope all my players will continue to progress after this,” added Rashid, who is also the owner of Cheras BC.
After a slow start to the season, Ampang Jaya BC managed to finish as Division 1 runners up ahead of promoted side Bandar Maharani BC and former champions Petaling BC in fourth place.
Meanwhile, another club from Cheras, Bukit Cheras BC wrapped up their Division 2 winning campaign in style with a 14-3 thumping of Desa Petaling Eagle BC.
Bukit Cheras BC’s coach, Waheeda Abdullah was ecstatic with the Division 2 title capture as her team performed beyond expectation throughout the season.
“All my players played their hearts out the entire season as they grew in confidence with every win. Our approach for this season was to leave everything on court every time the team plays, which eventually worked out well for us,” she said.
Waheeda also added, “We did not do any drastic changes to our squad this season. In fact most of our players are the same from last season with an addition of an Indonesian player. Majority of our locals are actually from our Team16 academy which is also based in Cheras and I hope it will grow in stature after this achievement”.
Bukit Cheras BC ended the campaign on top with a 60 win/loss difference ahead of second placed Georgetown BC with 34 and followed by JPL debutants Ayer Itam BC who finished an impressive third with 28.
JPL2017 Division 1 Champions Cheras BC walked away with RM 40,000 whilst runner-ups, Ampang Jaya BC pocketed RM20,000 and third placed Bandar Maharani BC received RM10,000. As for Division 2 winners Bukit Cheras BC, they pursed a RM5,000 reward with second placed Georgetown BC receiving RM3,000 as Ayer Itam BC were rewarded with RM2,000 for finishing third. Also in attendance during the prize giving ceremony was BAM’s Honorary Secretary, Datuk Ng Chin Chai.