Oct 23, 2015

Malaysia join Japan and Philippines in semi-finals

Malaysia strolled to 2-0 victories over Singapore and Korea respectively to advance to the semi-finals of the ISTAF SuperSeriesFinals 2014/15 NAKHON PATHOM here on wednesday.

The Malaysians wrapped up their match against the Singaporeans 21-13, 21-14 in 34 minutes but closed the day’s proceedings by struggling to get past Korea 23-21 and 21-13 in a late match. They had on Tuesday defeated Japan 2-0 at the NakhomPathom Municipal Gymnasium. 

Coach Abdul Talib Ahmad’s boys now go into Thursday’s semi-finals showdown with Philippineswho finished second in Group A after going down 0-2 in a pulsating tie against defending champions Thailand. The Thais, champions in the last two SuperSeries, take on Japan in the other semi-finals.

“We did well to beat Singapore but faced a tough fight by the Koreans. I think the combination of Syahir (Rosdi), Farhan (Adam) and Khairol (Zaman) is improving. There seems to be better understanding now as we go for the early blows,” said Abdul Talib. “Now we will focus on our semi-finals match against Philippines. They (Philippines) are playing extremely well here and we have to look out for them. We cannot afford for any form of complacency in our game.”

Syahir (tekong), Farhan (feeder) and striker Khairol were once again entrusted to demolishthe Singaporean wall.The trio raced to a 12-5 lead in the first set against veteransFarhanAmran and Muzaffarshah Ismail, and RaihanAlladin before winning 21-13.The second set was all over in 17 minutes with the Malaysians winning 21-14.

Abdul Talib, however, replaced Syahir and Khairol with Ahmad Aizat as tekong and Mohd Zamreecoming on as striker in the starting line-up against the Koreans. This new combination saw the Malaysians struggle against a side that has nothing to lose after failing to make it to the last four.

Thailand had earlier in the day brushed off a meekly challenge from perennial arch rivals Myanmar, winning 21-4, 21-8 in 30 minutes but it was the match against the Filipinos that attracted so much hype and attention based on their prolific performances against India and Myanmar in group matches.

After Thailand took the first set at a canter, winning 12-21 through NattaponKraiwan, ThawisakThongsai and RangsirodSirisamutsarn, the Philippines trio of RonsitedGabayeron (tekong), Jason Huerte (feeder) and striker Emmanuel Escotegot their acts togetherin the second set and found their rhythm.

They had everything going after taking a 10-6 lead and were embroiled in a point-for-point battle at one stage but Thailand made sure the night was theirs by quickly racing to a 21-17 victory which lasted 20 minutes.
In the women’s division, defending champions Thailand posted a 21-5, 21-18 wins over Myanmar while Vietnam defeated Korea 2-1. Both teams advanced to the semi-finals.
The Koreans, however,sent Japan crashing to their second defeat in a late match today following 21-13, 21-19 victory to stake a claim in the last four. In the semi-finals, the Thais entertain Korea while Vietnam takes on Myanmar.

The ISTAF SuperSeries platform is created by Asia Sports Ventures, the exclusive long term global commercial and development partner of the International Sepaktakraw Federation.

Malaysia humble Japan but Philippines steal the show

Malaysia registered a fairly easy win over Japan but it was Philippines who hogged the limelight in the first day of the ISTAF SuperSeries Finals 2014/15 NAKHON PATHOM. 

First choice tekong SyahirRosdi, feeder Farhan Adam and striker KhairolZaman took 37 minute to down Japan’s Sho Hasegawa, Ikki Mito and Toshitaka Naito 22-18, 21-14 at the NakhomPathom Municipal Gymnasium.

In the second set, Malaysian coach Abdul Talib Ahmad substituted Syahir with Ahmad AizatAzmi but the replacement did not go down too well as Aizat was constantly placing the ball into the net during service, giving the Japanese easy points from unforced errors.

The Malaysians play Singapore and Korea tomorrow to decide their chances of advancing to Thursday’s semi-finals. A make-shift Singaporean side went down 0-2 to Japan earlier in the day but clawed their way back to upset the much fancied Koreans 21-11, 21-15 to stay on course.

“I played Ahmad Aizat in the second set to allow him to acclimatise to the conditions in the hall,” said Abdul Talib. “We could have won fairly easier against Japan but the important thing is we have crossed our first hurdle with three points in the bag.”

Two-time champions Thailand, cheered on by the Mayor of NakhomPathom Municipality, Mr.EkaphanKuptawat, and an estimated 1,500 fans in this indoor stadium, had the easiest of task in their 2-0 demolition exercise of India. The Thais paraded SittipongKhamchan in tekong,introduced RangsirodSirisamutsarn as captain, andthe ever aggressive strikersThawisakThongsaiand also AnuwatChaichana.

India had Jotin Singh Ngathem(tekong), Malemnganba Singh (feeder) and AkashYumnam as strikerbut the trio were no match against the aggressiveness and accuracy of the far more experienced Thais who won 21-6 and 21-8 in 23 minutes.

In the SuperSeries opening matchtoday, the Indians lost 17-21, 9-21 to the Philippines in 35 minutes.The Philippines and India are new comers to Season 3 of the ISTAF SuperSeries Finals as replacements for Indonesia and China.

The Filipinos, however, have turned out to be the most entertaining and exciting team in the ISTAF SuperSeries Finals hereand the decision of the International SepaktakrawFederation (ISTAF) and Asia Sports Ventures (ASV) in endorsing their participation is loudlyapplauded.

Fresh from packing India off in the opening tie, ArnelIsorena (tekong), Jason Huarte (feeder) and strikers Emmanuel Escote and RheyjheyOrtouste produced one of the most entertaining acrobatic acts coupled with astute defensive strategy to shut out Myanmar 2-1 in a three-set thriller.

Myanmar, one of the toughest teams to beat when at its best form, won the first set 21-10 in 14 minutes but captain Huarte and company turned the tables on their opponents to win the next two sets 21-18 and 21-12 in 35 minutes.
“It has been an amazing day for us here,” said Philippines manager,Karen Claire Tanchanco-Caballero. “I told the players to go out and enjoy the game as we are under no pressure. When you enjoy, you are not pressured and the end results are always positive.”
In the women’s division, while the Malaysian men celebrated an expected convincing victory over Japan, the women slumped to a 2-1 defeat in their opening Group B match against Myanmarbefore ending the day with another 0-2 defeat, this time against defending champions Thailand.

The trio of NorzubaidahChe (tekong), Nor Farhana Ismail (feeder) and NurulIzzatul lost 11-21 in the first set against Myanmar but bounced back in the second to win 21-8 in just 14 minutes to force the match into a tie-breaker.
However, Myanmar regu of El Thinzar, Nan Su Myat San and Kay ZinHtut displayed nerves of steel in the deciding set as they raced to take a 9-3 lead before wrapping the tie 21-17 in under 17 minutes.

The ISTAF SuperSeries platform is created by Asia Sports Ventures, the exclusive long term global commercial and development partner of the International Sepaktakraw Federation.

Oct 20, 2015


PUMAunveiled PWRCOOL, a cooling technology designed to keep the body at an optimal temperature to preserve energy.PWRCOOL is incorporated into a complete collection of thermo-regulated apparel and footwear.

PWRCOOL footwear products feature a ComfortTemptongue liner to regulate body temperature. The apparelis complete with PWRCOOL cooling print on the inside that activates with moisture. When you sweat, it cools you down.The PWRCOOL collection is designed with CoolCELL: highly functional materials that draw sweat away from the skin while anatomically placed air flow features offer superior temperature regulation. CoolCELL keeps the body cool and dry during exercise.

Karin Baust, GM, Running and Training at PUMA said, "we have designed PWRCOOL while always keeping the comfort of the athlete in mind. PWRCOOL helps keep athletes comfortable in hot weather conditions to enable them to maximize their workouts."

A long history of working with Jamaican athletes gave PUMA the perfect hot environment to test PWRCOOL as part of the development process. Olympic medalist Hansle Parchment said, “living and training in Jamaica is a wonderful thing, but the heat is challenging and at times pretty exhausting. PWRCOOL is a great technology to help counter that; it works well in both the shoes and training wear. I like it, the IGNITE PWRCOOL shoe is particularly cool.”

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The IGNITE PWRCOOL is designed for the everyday runner with new tooling to create lightweight cushioning. TheComfortTemp tongue liner helps regulate the body temperature and boost performance.
PUMA PWRCOOL products is now available in Men’s and Women’s footwear styles at select running specialty stores, PUMA Retail, select sporting good wholesalers worldwide and online at www.shop.puma.com.

Oct 19, 2015

Black Panthers flay Green Titans

Penang Black Panthers edged Malacca Green Titans 2-1to register their second consecutive win in the SepakTakraw League Malaysia2015 (STL Malaysia) at the Sports Arena in Petaling Jaya on Saturday.

The Penang outfit, who had defeated Kelantan’s Gomo Warriors 2-1 last weekend, picked the first point through the regu of Noor Azman Abdul, Solehin Samsudin and Anas Muhaimin who brushed aside Zainurin Daud, Ridzuan Azman and Azwan Yahya 21-13, 21-10 in less than 35 minutes.

Former national player Fazil Asri than led the Black Panthers second regu comprising Anuar Samsudin and Fadzil Mustafa to a hard-fought 25-24win over Khobil Sepair, Zarlizan Zakaria and Amirul Asyraf Idris before closing home the second set 21-15 to give his side a comfortable 2-0 overall lead.

Green Titans, however, clawed back in the third regu to salvage some pride in their 21-19, 17-21 and 22-20 triumph over Black Panthers. The trio of Hasrul Anuar, Hasif Yusof and Shelpul Saad took 74 minutes tocrush any hopes Said Eswan, Suhairi Sulaiman and Kamal Ishak had of a Black Panthers clean run.

“This season we are faced with very competitive teams who have an equally balanced line-up. At the end of the day, it all boils down to luck and determination to win,” said Fazil, who quit the national team after the recent Singapore SEA Games in June.

“Two wins in two matches is a good start. But we have three more tough matches ahead against City Flyers, East Coast Surfers and Armed Forces. I want my players to stay focused and continue this momentum. Nothing is impossible even against the best team if we put our heart, mind and commitment into the game,” he added.

It was Green Titans third defeat in two weeks, having succumbed to a 0-3 loss to Armed Forces and 1-2 against Kuala Lumpur City Flyers and Black Panthers respectively.

Green Titans remaining matches are against Terengganu East Coast Surfers (Nov 1), Southern Tigris (Nov 15) and Gomo Warriors on Nov 22. The semi-finals will be held on Dec 12 and final the following day.

In another tie, Armed Forces were involved in a three-set thriller against Kelantan’s Gomo Warriors before pulling through 2-1 in a match that lasted one hour and 45 minutes.

Gomo Warriors’ Hisham Mat, Malek Faqimi Ideris and Yuslie Md Jusoff crawled to a 21-13, 21-17 win in the opening regu against Tunku Azwari Tunku, Faizzul Abdul Razak and Fadzil Baharuddin but ATM won the second and third regu in a nail biting finish for their second victory in the league.

The Kelantan outfit once again caused some ripples when the second regu of Sulaiman Saleh, Saufi Salleh and Aiman Fouzi took the first set 21-18 but allowed ATM’s Zulfikar Mat Amin, Nazuha Nadzli and Khairudin Adenan to win the second set 21-13 and third 21-12 in a 72-minute duel.

In the decider, it was ATM’sthird regu trio who claimed a 21-9, 21-18 comfortable win to stay in the hunt for a semi-finals berth.

Kuala Lumpur City Flyers, Black Panthers and Armed Forces are tied on four-equal points after two rounds with Johore’s Southern Tigris in fourth position in the league table standings.

“We lost to a team that was far more accomplished and made fare less errors at the net,” said Green Titans coach, Najib Iman. “However, I am still confident of Green Titans making inroads in the league and we are determined to do that in our next matches. Overall we had a good game today and all is not over yet.”

In tomorrow’s matches, high flying Kuala Lumpur City Flyers go into action against Johor’s Southern Tigrislooking for their third consecutive win in the tournament while ATM faces Black Panthers and East Coast Surfers take on Kedah’s Northern Rangers.

Oct 13, 2015

City Flyers, Southern Tigris stay on course

Kuala Lumpur City Flyers are soaring at new heights after posting a 2-1 win over Malacca Green Titans in the SepakTakraw League Malaysia at the Sports Arena Sentosa on Sunday.

The city lads, who defeated Kedah’s Northern Rangers 3-0 in STL Malaysia opening day encounter on Saturday, leapfrogged Armed Forces to lead the table standings with four points after two matches.

Farid Abdul Aziz (tekong), MuqlisBorhan (feeder) and Hafiz Rahman (striker) gave City Flyers a welcoming start following a 21-17, 17-21 and 21-19 victory over KobilSepair, ZarlizanZakaria and AmirulAsyrafIdris.

The second regu tie which involves national players only from both sides turned into a hotly affair as fans were entertained to some spectacular performances from City Flyers Aizat Nor Azmi, AmirulZazwan Amir and Azlan Alias against Titans Sahidan Ali (tekong), SyazreenqamarSalehan (feeder) and MasranRahman which went into three sets.

Titans won the first set 21-19 but could not sustain the pressure in the second and third sets to go down 10-21, 15-21 to give the city boys an overall 2-0 lead.

However, the Malacca outfit came back strongly to claim the third regu through HasrulAnuarSuboh (tekong), HasifYusof (feeder) and ShelpulSaad (striker) as they posted 21-14, 21-12 winning scores.

“Our plan was to win today at all cost against Green Titans and go on from here. With two wins we are heading in the right direction,” said City Flyers coach AzharSarbini. “But we cannot underestimate our opponents as all the teams are of equal strength.”

He added that Southern Tigris who they play next weekend is a team that is capable of turning the tables around.

“They have good national players in the squad, especially in two regus and I don’t want my players to be overconfident after posting two straight wins. We have to focus on the next match that is very crucial,” added Azhar.

Southern Tigris (Johor) opened their campaigned in the six-week long STL Malaysia with a 2-1 victory over Terengganu, also known as East Coast Surfers.

The first regu trio of Southern Tigris - Haidzir Rashid (tekong), TaibKassim (feeder) and Norhaffizi Abdul Razak (striker) won 21-19, 21-15 against IzurinRefin (tekong), MuzhaffarZamir (feeder) and FadzliRoslan (striker).

However, Tigris’ second regu of HairulHazizi, AzmiKadir and ZamreeMohdDahan ran into trouble waters against East Coast Surfers’ IzuanAfendi (tekong), Safaruddin Abu Bakar and JaxonAmputong before winning 21-14, 17-21, 21-11 to take an unassailable 2-0 lead.

East Coast Surfers, however, threw in a strong challenge in the third regu to pull away a narrow 25-24 win in the first set and 21-18 in the second to end the day on a satisfying note.