Oct 23, 2015

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.

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