KUALA LUMPUR (1 November 2018): Other than providing a competitive league platform for junior shuttlers, the action now shifts to the business end of the Purple League Junior (PLJ) 2018 to determine the champions of Division One in this weekend's finale on Saturday and Sunday at the Challenger Sports Centre, Ampang.
With all the teams due to play eight matches overall for Division One, Ampang Jaya Badminton Club (BC) leads the standings followed by Bukit Cheras Badminton Club (BC) while Bandar Maharani Badminton Club are third.
Kepong Badminton Club (BC) are sitting pretty in fourth and Puchong United Badminton Club (BC) are still within touching distance of grabbing the title.
Leaders Ampang Jaya BC is seen to have a slight advantage when the action moves to their home turf for the final round of the PLJ.
Ho Khek Mong, who coaches Ampang Jaya BC, said his players should not put undue pressure on themselves and possibly waste this opportunity to secure their maiden title with the advantage they have.
"We are now leading the PLJ and all the other teams chasing us are feeling the heat," said Khek Mong. "As the league leaders, I have told my players to hold on to what they have and collect as many points as possible to avoid losing with a big scoreline. Just like our final match last weekend against Kepong BC, we managed to defend and get nine points to draw 9-9 in a tough match."
Commenting on the next two matches for Ampang Jaya BC later, the coach added: “It will not be easy for us in the final weekend as we will be up against Bukit Cheras BC and defending champions Cheras BC. Bukit Cheras BC are one of the teams right behind us, so they will want to collect as many points from us as possible.
“I believe my players are ready to face them, so I don’t want them to feel pressured. Moreover, we will be playing on our own ground so this gives us an advantage to hold on to our position.”
Meanwhile, the Division Two PLJ is also headed towards its climax this weekend at the same venue which will determine which team becomes champions and with it an automatic ticket to Division One next season.
Amanjaya Jaya Badminton Club (BC) leads the Division Two standings and the only team still unbeaten. In second is Kuantan Synergy Badminton Club (BC) and Ayer Itam Badminton Club (BC) are on third.
The teams in Division Two PLJ will play three more matches each before the title is determined this weekend.
For the record, since the league began in 2015, Petaling BC finished as champions and retained the title the following year before Cheras BC ended their dominance when they took the title last year.
PLJ is heading towards a grand finale with two remaining match days on 3rd and 4th November at The Challenger Sports Centre, Ampang to decide who will be the nation’s premier badminton league kingpins.