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.

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