Armed Forces (ATM) Guardians hope of turning their luck around in this edition of the Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL) suffered a setback when they lost to Kuala Lumpur Thunder in their 5th round match at the Serdang Jaya Municipal Council Stadium.
After a run of successive defeats early in the season, Guardians registered victories over Penang Black Panthers and Kedah Eagles in their last two matches spurring hopes of a revival for their season.
However, it took only about 40 minutes for Thunder to take home the victory with a 2-0 win, punishing the defending champions to their fifth defeat of the season.
Guardians’ trio Nazmi Najib (tekong), Nazuha Nadzli (feeder) and Afiffudin Razali (striker) were unable to stage a comeback after going down 21-19 in the first set to the Thunder’s trio of Aizat Nor Azmi (tekong), Amirul Zazwan Amir (feeder) and Zamree Dahan (striker).
In the second set, Guardians began the match much brighter only to fade off later allowing Thunder to take advantage and go on to claim a 21-16 victory.
After today’s match, Thunder’s now occupy third spot before looking to build on today’s win when they face Johor Tigris on Sunday while Guardians will face 7th place Kelantan Warriors.
The second match of the day saw Terengganu Turtles fresh from securing a season-long deal with Spritzer as their team sponsor, extended their lead at the top of the table to six points after claiming a hard-fought 2-1 win in their match against Penang Black Panthers.
Terengganu Turtle’s, Fadzli Roslan (striker) who have been impressive throughout the season so far had a change of luck coming into this match when he was yellow-carded in the first set for time-wasting before limping off injured after landing awkwardly trying to block the ball.
Kamal Alfiza Shafie stepped-in for the injured Fadzli and had nervy moments throughout as it was his first match of the season before helping his teammates Zulkifli Razak (tekong) and Azwan Muhrim (feeder) to a victory.
About 2000 fans thronged the Serdang Jaya Municipal Council Stadium to witness this mouth-watering tie as they went back home pleased after both sides put up an entertaining performance to woo the crowd.
Panther’s trio Syahir Rosdi (tekong), Suhairi Sulaiman (feeder) and Azlan Alias were outclassed by the Turtles in the first set, losing 21-16 before staging a comeback in the second set to claim a 21-14 win.
The tie-breaker saw both teams increase their intensity and momentum with Panthers in control for most part of the set before Turtles caught up to steal a 21-19 victory preventing Panthers from staging an upset over the league leaders.
Turtles win today will definitely be a huge morale booster heading into tomorrow’s match against third place Kedah Eagles while second place Panthers will hope to overcome today’s defeat when they entertain bottom of the table Melaka Titans on Sunday.