KUALA LUMPUR (27 January 2018): Ampang Jaya Badminton Club (BC) earned a much-needed 11-10 victory over Kepong BC in their SS Purple League (SSPL) 2017/18 Stage 2 Group B encounter at the Sports Arena Sentosa, Old Klang Road today.
It was Kepong BC who started the brighter side. Their men’s singles, Muhd Nuraidil Adha Azman was bullish in his performance against Ampang Jaya BC’s Tan Jia Wei as he took the first match 3-2 (6-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 10-9).
Ampang Jaya BC clawed their way back and regained the lead after the women’s singles match thanks to Xu Wei’s 3-1 (11-9, 11-8, 10-11, 6-1) win over Kepong BC’s Qin Jin Jing. It could have gone either way after Jin Jing’s third set win. But with time running out, the Chinese international produced too many unforced errors to gift Xu Wei the victory.
Both sides traded blows as Ampang Jaya BC went on to win the third match before Kepong BC registered a win of their own in the fourth.
Ampang Jaya BC’s Lukhi Nugroho and Muhd Syawal Mohd Ismail beat their Kepong BC opponents, Boon Xin Yuan and Tan Chee Tean comfortably in straight sets (11-7, 11-8, 11-8) in the men’s doubles match.
But Kepong BC bounced back to win the mixed doubles match courtesy of Cheah Yee See and Tee Kai Wun’s 3-1 (11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 11-2) win against Ampang Jaya BC’s Markis Kido and Nurul Farisha Abd Malek heading into the decisive fifth match.
Needing just two set wins to secure the game, Ampang Jaya BC’s experienced Vietnamese import, Nguyen Tien Minh held his nerve to deliver the knockout blow to Kepong BC despite losing to national shuttler, Lim Chi Wing 2-3 (3-11, 11-10, 11-10, 10-11, 1-2).
The hard-fought victory strengthened Ampang Jaya BC’s case for second place and an automatic semi-finals spot in the SSPL 2017/18 Finals come February.
“We might have won today but some of the results were unexpected. But there are still some positives to take from some of the defeats today. There will be a number of teams eyeing for that number 2 spot which was initially ours after Stage 1 but whatever happens, I am not worried as we already qualified for the knockout phase,” said Ampang Jaya BC’s coach-cum-player, Muhd Syawal Ismail.
Meanwhile in Group A, Petaling Jaya BC’s roller coaster season continues as they fell to yet another disappointing defeat, this time to Cheras BC 6-14 in their SSPL 2017/18 Stage 2 encounter at the Sports Arena Sentosa, Old Klang Road earlier today.
In the 12pm match, Bangsar Hawks BC and Serdang BC finished 7th and 8th respectively in this season’s SSPL as the Hawks won the 7th/8th place playoff match 10-7.