Armed Forces (ATM) Guardians once again produced a giant-killing performance, this time taking down the high-flying Kedah Eagles 2-0 at the Serdang Jaya Municipal Council earlier today.
The Eagles made one change to their lineup with Ali Alhamidi Ayob starting in the striker position as he missed yesterday’s win against Melaka Titans.
Guardians, whose only victory so far is against pre-tournament favourites, Penang Black Panthers, started brightly after Nazmi Najib, Nazuha Nadzli and Afifudin Razali beat Nazirul Akram Razali, Zuleffendi Sumari and Ali Alhamidi Ayob 21-15 in the first set.
Afifudin was dangerous in his net plays as he utilized his height perfectly in executing blocks and spikes. Just like yesterday’s match against Melaka Titans, the Eagles introduced tekong, Asrah Adenan while also switching Alhamidi with Shahrol Nizam Romli at the start of the second set in hopes of tying the game.
But it was Afifudin and gang once again proving too strong for the fatigued Eagles as the defending champions went on to secure the game in the second set. Eagles’ Asrah was guilty of some poor services which led to a 11-21 trashing.
“This is the first time we play back-to-back matches. I think my boys are still recovering from yesterday’s grueling match (with Melaka Titans). We will have to adjust to the schedule as this won’t be the only time we play back-to-back matches,” said Kedah Eagles’ head coach, Shamsul Samsudin.
The win lifted the Guardians off the bottom of the standings, a position in which they occupied for some time now.
In the later match, Terengganu Turtles extended their unbeaten streak to six matches as they saw off Kelantan Warriors 2-0 in an east coast derby match-up.
With injuries plaguing the Turtles side, they only had four players at their disposal for the match while the Kelantan side made two changes to their lineup with feeder, Ashraf Mamat and striker, Nur Yuslie Jusoh drafted in as they look to bounce back from yesterday’s tame defeat to Johor Tigris.
Despite their injury setbacks, Terengganu Turtles started the brighter team as their trio – Irsyad Faiz Aziz, Azwan Muhrim and Fadzli Roslan performed tremendously as a team to defeat their Warriors opponents, Khairul Hisham Yusoff, Ashraf Mamat and Nur Yuslie Jusoh 21-13 in the first set.
Even with the introduction of their key man Aidil Aiman Azwawi, the Warriors could not salvage the second set as they go down 10-21 to the Turtles and suffer back-to-back losses. The win further solidifies the Turtles’ spot at the top after matchweek 4.