Nov 29, 2016

World’s Best on Show at SSPL 2016/17

The SS Purple League (SSPL) 2016/17 is poised to erupt now that top players from home and abroad will be doing battle with each other. With the presence of these big names it will surely boost the quality and image of this league.
Despite being only in its third edition, SSPL 2016/17 has attracted star players from 13 countries which underlines the league’s status. Among the foreign players who have signed up are Olympic champions Markis Kido of Indonesia, Korean international Lee Hyo Jung and China's Zhao Yunlei.
Zhao, together with World No 1 Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei and Goh V Shem, will represent Petaling BC. Goh Liu Ying, one-half of Malaysia’s Olympic silver medallists in the mixed doubles, and Taiwan international Chou Tien Chen will turn out for Puchong United BC, while Tan Boon Heong, Chan Peng Soon and Zulfadli Zukifli will display their talent for Johor side, Muar BC.  Just the mention on these star names, especially Chong Wei, is enough to whet the fans' appetite.
The other big names coming are Indonesia's Hendra Gunawan (Kepong BC), Markis and Tan Wee Kiong (BU Dragons BC) and Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Petaling Jaya BC) also of Indonesia.
This will be the perfect platform for our local players, especially the up-and-coming ones with potential, to gain experience on the international stage.
With the keen rivalry between Malaysia's seasoned players and foreign stars, the SSPL  will be a great opportunity for players to show their consistency, but more importantly, improve on their game. The fans get the rare chance of catching their favourite players - national or foreign - up close.
Most encouraging though is the fact that SSPL has received the thumbs up from former Olympian Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen, who is currently President of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and a Council Member of the International Olympic Committee.

“I believe SSPL is a great platform for the development of badminton in Malaysia especially as it helps to build the confidence of the Malaysian players featuring in international tournaments and then capturing world titles,” Larsen said, who won the 1996 Atlanta Olympics singles gold medal.
Larsen added that the BWF is determined to get more fans to continue supporting badminton globally and believes that this is being accomplished through the SSPL which is the first professional badminton league in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Malaysia Purple League, Dato’ Jack Koh is optimistic of achieving his objective in bridging the gap between players and fans, regardless whether from within the country or from abroad. 
“There will be a number of well-known players competing in SSPL which means competition will be tight. We hope more Malaysians will be part of this globally popular sport. Malaysian fans should be proud as our players have achieved much on badminton's world stage,” he said.
SS Purple League (SSPL) 2016/17 main sponsors Samsung and Senheng Electric are looking to play more important roles in promoting and supporting badminton in Malaysia.
“We believe in Purple League’s initiative to take badminton in Malaysia to a higher level. Therefore, we would love to be a part of this initiative as we want to ensure Samsung is involved in this professional league as we both are on a similar mission,” said Lee Sang Hoon, President of Samsung Electronics Malaysia. 
Lim Kim Heng, Managing Director of Senheng Electrics (KL) Sdn Bhd, said that the company's focus is not solely on electronic equipment but also to increase the quality of people's lives through sports.
“Together with Malaysia Purple League, we would like to play our part in helping Malaysians to stay healthy in mind and body through sports,” added Kim Heng.
The SSPL 2016/17  involves 10 teams - Ampang Jaya BC, Bangsar Hawks BC, BU Dragons BC, Kepong BC, Klang City BC, Muar BC, Petaling BC, Petaling Jaya BC, Puchong United BC and Serdang BC – and kicks off towards the later part of the year.
Serdang BC, who will be parading national junior players Lee Zii Jia, Soh Wooi Yik, Ooi Zi Heng and Sim Fong Hau, who all represented Malaysia in the recently concluded BWF World Junior Championship in Bilbao, Spain earlier this month, will be looking to their youngsters for the main prize.
The world's top junior player Goh Jin Wei will be representing BU Dragons BC. Leong Jun Hao, Thinaah Muralitharan, Kisona Selvaduray (Klang City BC) and Chen Tang Jie (Petaling BC) have stepped up from the Junior Purple League to compete with badminton's elite.
The SSPL will feature an array of the world's top players and fans will not have to travel far to catch the action.
The preliminary round-robin stage will be played at the Gem In Mall (Cyber 11 in Cyberjaya) and KLBA Stadium in Cheras while the knockout round will be held in Genting Highlands 

Nov 26, 2016

Turtles proving to be indestructible

Terengganu Turtles took Melaka Titans for a walk in the park when they strolled to an easy 2-0 win in their Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL) 2016 match which took place at the Serdang Jaya Municipal Council Stadium, today.
It took only 40 minutes for the league leaders, Turtles to send the Titans packing back with zero points in this round of the STL, after yesterday’s defeat to Johor Tigris which saw them remain at the summit of the league.
Turtles came into the match with wariness at the back of their mind after they only managed to scrape out a 2-1 win (22-20, 17-21, 21-17) in their previous meeting in the reverse fixture, early October.
Vitaya Boonta, Turtles Thailand-born coach fielded a strong line-up with only their talismen, Fadzli Roslan and Hanafiah Dollah missing out due to injury. Kamal Alfiza Shafie (striker) in place of Fadzli, playing only in his third match of the season continued to impress while providing Vitaya with the selection headache once Fadzli recovers from injury.
Titans trio Sahidan Ali (tekong), Lutfi Asiman (feeder) and Azwan Yahya (striker) trailed the Turtles early on by 8 points in the first set and the Turtles maintained that gap for most part of the set before going on to win 21-11.
The second set provided no difference as Turtles again overcame the Titans with the same score line to go home with a record 10th consecutive victory putting them one hand on the title after already qualifying for the play-off spot with only four matches remaining.
Titans on the brink of relegation will next play Kedah Eagles who is also struggling to replicate their early-season form which saw them occupy third place before dropping down to sixth.
Kelantan Warriors who endured a rough path during the month of November after back-to-back losses would have thought that they could have salvaged their season after yesterday’s victory over Eagles only to find themselves back down the drain again after falling to Kuala Lumpur Thunder 2-0 in the second match of the day at the Serdang Jaya Municipal Council Stadium.
The in-form Thunder’s put on a superb performance as they dented Warriors hopes of a final play-off spot acquiring only 35 minutes to claim a 21-10, 21-10 win in the first and second set respectively.
Warriors’ trio Aizat Nor Azmi (tekong), Amirul Zazwan Amir (feeder) and Zamree Dahan (striker) performances proved important as they signal a warning to second place, Penang Black Panthers whom they face tomorrow as both teams play catch up with Turtles at top spot.

Nov 23, 2016

City boys in second round but girls bow out

Defending champions Kuala Lumpur failed to advance into the second round of the girls division in the MHC-1Mas-Milo-KPM National Under-14 Hockey Tournament at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium today.
The city girls went down 1-2 against Malacca in a crucial match and finished at the bottom of the three-team Group A with one point following defeat against Perak (1-0) and drew 1-1 with Kedah,
Perak and Kedah played a scoreless draw to conclude the fixtures Perak, however, lead the table with seven points and Malacca six.
The qualifiers for the second round are Perak and Malacca (Group A); Penang and Pahang (Group B) while Johor and Singapore advanced from Group C.
The six teams have been drawn into Group X and Y for the second round. Penang, Johor and Malacca are in Group X while Pahang, Singapore and Perak in Group Y. The winner of each group after the round-robin league matches qualify for Sunday’s final while second-placed teams in each group play for the bronze medal.
Singapore team manager Nadrah Sadali, said: “After finishing fourth last year, we have set a target of advancing into the second round first and plan our strategy according to each match. Pahang and Perak are strong teams and we will have to work really hard.”
In the boys’ second round which begins tomorrow, defending champions Sabah lead the way with an unbeaten record of four wins in Group A after the preliminary round and have for company Pahang and Melaka while six-time champions Kuala Lumpur, Perak and Johor are in Group Y.
Champions in 2014, Pahang held Penang to a 2-2 draw today but Pahang team manager, Wan Mazlan Wan Isa, said: “It does not matter which group we are in as long as the players give their best in the second round.  
Kuala Lumpur could only manage a 0-0 draw against lowly Perlis in the last preliminary round match.

“We wasted far too many penalty corner opportunities,” said KL coach Mohd Madzli Ikmar. “Perlis surprised us by playing a good match. We will need to buck up our game in the second round as Johor is coming on strong and so is Perak.”

Boys Group A: Selangor 3 Kelantan 2; Kuala Lumpur 0 Perlis 0
Group B: Pahang 2 Penang 2; Sarawak 2 Kedah 0
Group C: Malacca 2 Negeri Sembilan 1; Singapore 0 Terengganu 4
Girls – Group A: Perak 0 Kedah 0; Malacca 2 Kuala Lumpur 1

THURSDAY (24 Nov) - Boys 2nd Round Group X: Sabah v Malacca (7.15pm, KPM); 
Group Y: Kelantan v Perak (7.15pm, KLHA Stadium).
Classification matches - 7-9th Placing: Selangor v Negeri Sembilan (4.45, KLHA Stadium)
10-12th:: Kelantan v Terengganu 4.45pm, KPM)i
13-15th: Perlis v Singapore (3.30pm, KLHA Stadium)
Girls 2nd Round Group X: Penang v Johor (6.0pm, KPM)
Group Y: Pahang v Singapore (6.0pm, KLHA Stadium)
Classifications - 7-9th: Kedah v Kelantan (7.30am, KPM); 10-12th: Kuala Lumpur v Sarawak (7.30am, KLHA Stadium)