GENTING HIGHLANDS (9 February 2018): In what was a repeat of last year’s final, Puchong United Badminton Club (BC) exacted revenge by knocking Petaling Jaya BC out of the SS Purple League (SSPL) 2017/18 semi-finals earlier today at the Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting.
Last year’s losing finalists made sure they did not repeat the same mistake as they cruised to a 10-3 victory over the defending champions.
Puchong United BC’s Chinese Taipei shuttler, Chou Tien Chen got the ball rolling for his team after defeating his opponent, Goh Giap Chin 3-1 (10-11, 11-10, 11-6, 11-10) in the first men’s singles match.
Chinese international, Deng Xuan came back to haunt her former team as the current Puchong United BC women’s singles defeated Supanida Katethong of Petaling Jaya BC 3-1 (11-9, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7).
A third consecutive 3-1 win put Puchong United BC just a point away from a place in this season’s final. Mak Hee Chun and Yoo Yeon Seong made lightweight of Petaling Jaya BC’s pair, Chooi Kah Ming and Kim Gijung, winning their battle 10-11, 11-10, 11-8, 11-7.
National shuttlers, Shevon Jemie Lai and Tan Kian Meng ensured Puchong United BC’s back-to-back finals appearance as they delivered the point that won them the tie. The pair beat Petaling Jaya BC’s Kim Sa Rang and Ti Wei Chyi 1-0 (11-3, Retired) in their mixed doubles encounter.
“I still get the jitters even though it is my team’s fourth appearance in the SSPL Finals stage. I was nervous because this is our first game in this season’s knockout stage and anything could have happened,” said Puchong United BC’s team manager, Irina Inozemtseva.
“We lost the final last year despite my players performing well. We have learnt our lesson and if you can see from our very first game this season, I advised my players to just focus on winning each point. In my opinion, that is the best way for us to stay focused and win our matches.
“For Sunday’s final, I hope my players can keep it up and prepare mentally. Even with the best squad, team spirit and teamwork play a big role as well,” added the Russian.
Puchong United BC will face the winner of the other semi-final match between Cheras BC and Kepong BC. Irina went on to say that her team might spring some surprises in terms of line-up changes depending on which opponent they will be facing in Sunday’s final.