Malacca Titans suffered their third consecutive defeat when they fell at the hands of Kelantan Warriors 2-1 in the third round of the Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL) 2016 at the Serdang Jaya Municipal Council Stadium.
Titans’ trio Khobil Shapair (tekong), Lutfi Asiman (feeder) and Azwan Yahya (striker) got off to a bright start when they stormed home to win the first set, 21-11. However, in the second set, Titans lost foot in the game and squandered a host of chances gifting the Warriors’ trio Khairul Hisham Yusoff (tekong), Aidil Aiman Azwawi (feeder) and Naim Izani Noor (striker) a 21-13 win.
Khobil was taken off late in the second set after sustaining an injury and his replacement, Afiq Adnan failed to shine forcing Ezzat Zaki, coach of Malacca Titans to bring on Khobil after undergoing treatment.
Titans failed to pick themselves up in the tie-breaker in which Warriors increased the tempo of the match and eventually going on to win 21-12 after dominating for most part of the set.
After today’s win, Warriors now sit in 5th place, pushing Titans down to 6th, going into the 2 week-break of the season.
Warriors coach, Rozi Rahman praised his team’s efforts and fighting spirit to comeback to win the match after losing the first set.
“There have been a series of ups and downs in our past matches and after today, we are more than happy with the result after being able to bounce back from Friday’s defeat to Kedah Eagles,” said the 43-year-old.
He added, that the 2-week break could not have come at a perfect time as this will provide his team the chances to reflect on their previous performances and to work on improving their strengths before the season resumes.
However, Ezzat was adamant that his team is not in crisis after failing to win since their opening match against ATM Guardians early October.
“There is still much hope even after today’s result as there is still a long way more to go before the season concludes. I wouldn’t say my team is in crisis however there is still a lot of work more to be done and this 2-week break will be a great advantage for us work hard in training,” said the 41-year-old hailing from Penang.
In the day’s second match, Johor Tigris failed to take advantage of Penang Black Panther’s loss on Saturday when they fell at the hands of Kedah Eagles 2-1.
Tigers’ trio of Haidzir Rashid (tekong), Lutfil Azmi (feeder) and Norhafizi Razak (striker) stunned the Eagles in the first set to win, 21-18.
Eagles’ determination and mental strength proved to be the difference when captain, Zuleffendi Sumari (feeder) led his teammates (Nazirul Akram Razali (tekong) and Shahrol Nizam Romli (striker) to come back to win 21-19 in the second set and again with the same scoreline in the tie-breaker.
This result will see Eagles move into the third spot while Tigers drop to fourth until the season resumes back in November.
Sunday (16 October 2016):
Kelantan Warriors vs Malacca Titans 2-1 (11-21, 21-13, 21-12)
Kedah Eagles vs Johor Tigris 2-1 (18-21, 21-19, 21-19)