GENTING HIGHLANDS (25 January 2019): It’s Puchong United Badminton Club (PUBC) vs Kepong Badminton Club (Kepong BC) in the final again this Sunday after overcoming their respective opponents in the semi-finals of the SS Purple League 2018/19, Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting, today.
Defending champions, PUBC who defeated Kepong BC 10-8 in last season’s finale, booked their place in the showpiece event after overcoming Petaling Badminton Club (Petaling BC) 10-7 while Kepong BC overcame Ampang Jaya Badminton Club (AJBC) 12-8.
In PUBC’s match, new signing, Jan O Jorgensen threatened to spoil the party when he overcame Liew Daren, who was back in action after an injury in last week’s Malaysia Masters, 3-1 (11-5, 10-11, 11-5, 11-10) for Petaling BC to draw first blood.
Women’s singles, Yap Pui Yin from Hong Kong then extended Petaling BC’s lead to 6-3 after winning her match 3-2 (7-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-10) over Xuan Deng from China.
Malaysian-Korean men’s pair, Tan Boon Heong-Kim Sa Rang then got PUBC’s campaign back on track when they trounced Man Wei Chong-Shia Chun Kang, 3-0 (11-10, 11-8, 11-10) to draw level at 6-6.
Mixed doubles pairing, Eom Hye Won from Korea and Malaysian, Mak Hee Chun then forged PUBC 9-6 ahead when they easily won 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-6) over Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei.
Needing only one point to secure their passage, Lee Cheuk Yiu from Hong Kong duly obliged, winning the second game 11-8 after losing the first 9-11, with the match against Cheam June Wei halted after PUBC reached an unassailable lead of 10-8.
PUBC manager, Irina Inozemtseva said, “Truthfully, this is the toughest SSPL semi-final that we had to face. This happened when we saw Liew Daren struggling with injury and when he lost, the effects were felt by the other players,” she said.
Commenting about the match against Kepong BC in the final, Irina said, “We always face drama in all our matches, but in the end we always win. I am excited to face Kepong BC in the final to see how far they can challenge us,” she added.
Kepong BC were not given a ghost of a chance against AJBC who won all their seven matches on the trot in Stage 1 thus receiving a bye through to the semis, whereas Kepong BC had to go through Stage 2 and had to overcome Serdang Badminton Club (Serdang BC) 10-4 in the quarter finals yesterday.
But playing an extra game yesterday gave Kepong BC an extra edge today and they duly took advantage, winning four of their matches with an identical 3-2 scoreline, with the final men’s singles not played.
Opening men’s singles, Soong Joo Ven got the ball rolling for Kepong BC when he upset AJBC’s new signing, Brice Leverdez from France, 3-2 (11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 9-11, 11-8).
Women’s singles, Qin Jing Jing from China then extended their lead with a 3-2 (11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 5-11, 4-2) after the end of 30 minutes regulation time, over Hanna Ramadini from Indonesia.
New signing, Conrad Mads Petersen from Denmark again did the trick, this time partnering Rian Agung Saputro from Indonesia in the men’s doubles to win 3-2 (11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 5-2) over Chooi Kah Ming-Low Juan Shen.
Then it was time for Malaysian-Indonesian mixed doubles pair, Cheah Yee See-Ricky Karandasuwardi to deal the final blow, with a 3-2 (11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9) victory over Hong Kong-Indonesian pair, Chau Hoi Wah-Lukhi Apri Nugroho.
AJBC who ended Stage 1 on top will feel hard done by as they had to do without national men’s singles, Lee Zii Jia and women’s singles ace, Goh Jin Wei who were competing in the Indonesia Masters running concurrently.