As expected, Thailand registered straight set wins over Japan and Germany in their opening Group B matches at ISTAF SuperSeries MALAYSIA 2013/14, taking only a total of 42 minutes to finish off their opponents.
Despite giving three new players their first shot at international action, the second seeds only needed 24 minutes to defeat Japan 15-2, 15-9 in their first match and 18 minutes to overcome Germany 15-1, 15-3 in their second at the Likas Sports Complex here.
Coach Somporn Sanyabut, who is keeping star tekong Siriwat Sakha and striker Pornchai Kaokaew for the SEA Games in December, took the opportunity to give Panupong Petlue, Treepong Rawangai and Tanawat Chumsena a taste of the big times.
“I am satisfied with the way my three new players combined with Rattadech Noijaroen and Anuwat Chaichana,” he said. “They were part of the winning Asean University Games team in Laos last year, so I was confident in their abilities.”
Thailand, who won ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14 in September, is grouped together with Japan, Singapore, Brunei and Germany. Group A has top seeds Malaysia, Iran, India and Indonesia.
In the women’s competition, top seeds and defending champions Thailand were given a scare by unseeded Japan before defeating them 15-10, 15-8 in their opening Group B match. Coach Veeras Na Nongkhai, who used all five of his players, was however satisfied with the outcome despite his charges’ slow start in both sets.
“I am trying out different combinations to get the best possible team for the upcoming SEA Games,” he said. “But we were overconfident as we thought the Japanese would be easy to beat, and that’s why we struggled early on in both sets.”
In Group A, Vietnam and Malaysia were each awarded automatic 2-0 walkover wins over Korea after the team failed to show up due to player injury and technical difficulties.
ISTAF SuperSeries Malaysia, October 31-November 3, is the third and final leg of ISTAF SuperSeries 2013/14. The ISTAF SuperSeries Final is scheduled to be held February 13-16 next year in Kuala Lumpur.
The ISTAF SuperSeries platform is created by Asia Sports Ventures (ASV) – the International Sepaktakraw Federation’s (ISTAF) exclusive global commercial and development partner. The Malaysian leg is supported by Persatuan Sepaktakraw Malaysia (PSM).
ISTAF SuperSeries MALAYSIA 2013/14
Group A: Malaysia bt Iran 2-0 (15-8, 15-4); Indonesia bt India 2-0 (15-7, 15-10); Indonesia bt Iran 2-0 (15-2, 15-7)
Group B: Thailand bt Japan 2-0 (15-2, 15-9); Singapore bt Brunei 2-1 (8-15, 16-14, 15-13); Thailand bt Germany 2-0 (15-1, 15-3)
Group A: Vietnam w/o Korea 2-0; Malaysia w/o Korea 2-0
Group B: Thailand bt Japan 2-0 (15-10, 15-8)