KUALA LUMPUR (20 December 2017): SS Purple League (SSPL) 2017/18 title contenders, Petaling BC were in scintillating form as they overcame Serdang BC 11-8 to record their second win of the season during their SSPL 2017/18 Phase 1 match at the Sports Arena Sentosa, Old Klang Road today.
Petaling BC started the match on fire as they recorded straight sets victories in the first two matches of the tie.
Kenichi Tago of Petaling BC continued his rich vein in form as he registered yet another straight sets win in the first men’s singles match. The Japanese international defeated Serdang BC’s Chinese import, Xu Yiming 3-0 (11-8, 11-9, 11-9).
Petaling BC’s Indonesian import, Hera Desiana Rachmawati put behind her disappointing performance in her first match on Monday to beat her Serdang BC opponent Lee Ying Ying 3-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-10) too.
Serdang BC managed to get a couple of points on the board in the men’s doubles match but the win went to Petaling BC’s pair of Goh V Shem and Man Wei Chong as they were made to work hard to beat their opponents of the day, Pei Tianyi and Ong Wei Khoon 3-2 (11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 5-11, 11-7).
Chen Hsiao Huan and Lu Ching Yao gifted Serdang BC their first win of the match and three more points as the Chinese Taipei pair beat Petaling BC’s Chen Tang Jie and Devi Tika Permatasari 3-1 (11-10, 10-11, 11-7, 9-8) in the mixed doubles match.
Leong Jun Hao then helped make the overall score more respectable as the Serdang BC player shocked his national team senior, Petaling BC’s Iskandar Zulkarnain 3-1 (11-8, 11-4, 10-11, 10-9) in the last match of the night.
“It was unfortunate that we suffered a narrow loss tonight but this league is all about collecting points so that is a consolation for us. I know our team will continue to improve as we have the players to do so and we will also have Lee Zii Jia back soon to strengthen our side,” said Serdang BC’s Leong Jun Hao.
“I think I played well today. My net plays were on point. It also helped that Iskandar wasn’t playing at his best,” added Leong.
Earlier in the day, Bangsar Hawks BC suffered successive defeats in as many days as they lost to Ampang Jaya BC 6-12 during their SSPL2017/18 Phase 1 match earlier today at the Sports Arena Sentosa, Old Klang Road.
Bangsar Hawks BC needed to bounce back from the heavy trashing they received yesterday while Ampang Jaya BC were confident heading into the match after their previous 10-8 win over Cheras BC.
It was the start Ampang Jaya BC were looking for as they won the first men’s singles match. Despite the squad rotation, national shuttler Tan Jia Wei managed to defeat Bangsar Hawks BC’s Muhd Syafiq A Sanusi 3-1 (7-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-1).
Bangsar Hawks BC's fortunes looked to be changing for the better as they won the women's singles and gained the lead. Their women’s singles, Yap Yee won her match in straight sets (11-8, 11-10, 11-9) against Chinese international, Xu Wei of Ampang Jaya BC who struggled to find her footing in her first SSPL 2017/18 appearance.
But it was quickly back to status quo with Ampang Jaya BC winning the third match and held a one-point lead going into the last two matches. Lukhi Nugroho and Muhd Syawal eased their way past Bangsar Hawks BC’s charismatic pair of Dede Ryan Philip and Yap Qar Siong 3-1(11-3, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5) in the men’s doubles category.
Ampang Jaya BC’s lead was extended courtesy of their mixed doubles – Chan Peng Soon and Lee Shun Mei’s 3-1 (11-8, 3-11, 11-6, 11-9) win over Bangsar Hawks BC’s inexperienced pair of Keshya Nurvita and Roobenraj Velayutham. The latter pair struggled throughout the match due to the lack of chemistry.
Bangsar Hawks BC’s misery was compounded in the final match of the tie. Their men’s singles, Zulhelmi Zulkiffli held his own before finally succumbing to Ampang Jaya BC’s Vietnamese import, Nguyen Tien Minh in straight sets (11-8, 11-9, 11-6).
“I am happy with this pair of wins and so early in the league as well. Today’s win (over Bangsar Hawks BC) is even sweeter as we lost to them last year. After a year of preparation, I can also see that our younger players are improving steadily. This will surely help our team as we won’t need to rely heavily on star names, instead our fringe players can also make a positive impact when called upon,” said Ampang Jaya BC’s team manager, Ho Khek Mong.
Despite the comfortable win today, the real test for Ampang Jaya BC will be in their next match when they face last year’s champion, Petaling Jaya BC on Friday.