Dec 3, 2016

Titans, Warriors gain crucial points

Melaka Titans finally registered only their second win of the season after defeating Kedah Eagles 2-0 in their Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL) 2016 match at the Serdang Jaya Municipal Council Stadium, today.
After the Titans endured a horrendous October and November with back-to-back defeats, they finally began the last month of the season on the right track as they swept Eagles aside within only 46 minutes of the match.
The last time both these sides met in the reversed fixture, the results favoured Eagles as they went home with a 2-1 (14-21, 21-15, 21-14) victory.
Riduan Ramli, coach of Titans chose Zarlizan Zakaria (feeder) in place of the experienced Lutfi Asiman, accompanied by Azwan Yahya (striker) and national “tekong” player, Sahidan Ali.
The trio combined well after going down early in the first set to comeback against all odds to claim the first set with a 21-18 win. In the second set, the trio refused to remove their feet of the pedal when they strolled to an early lead and dominated throughout, hampering Eagles trio Nazirul Akram Razali (tekong), Zuleffendi Sumari (feeder) and Shahrol Nizam Romli (striker) any chances of producing a comeback.
Titans then, went on triumphant mood as they cruised to a 21-13 win to finally have a taste at victory after their only win previously was in the opening match of the season against ATM Guardians, late September. 
This win could prove the difference as the season approaches the end with the Titans currently occupying bottom place, in fear of relegation with only three matches remaining in the season.
The day’s second match saw Kelantan Warriors scramble for vital points as they move away from relegation place into sixth (Eagles dropped into seventh), with a 2-0 win against Johor Tigris.

Warriors’ trio Khairul Hisham Yusoff (tekong), Aidil Aiman Zawawi (feeder) and Naim Izani Noor (striker) started the match brightly and gave no chance for the Tigris to play their game as they snatched a 21-16 victory.
However, they lost their foot in the second set early on allowing the trio from the South, Amirul Asyraaf Khairul (tekong), Lutfil Azmi (feeder) and Norhafizi Razak (striker) to dominate the set. Warriors then got hold of themselves as they powered back towards the end to go home with a hard-fought 22-20 victory.
Today’s defeat will have landed a dent on Tigris hopes of catching up with ATM Guardians for the last play-off spot. They will now look forward to their next match tomorrow against Kuala Lumpur Thunder currently in third spot who will be looking to bounce back after yesterday’s defeat at the hands of Guardians.

Dec 2, 2016


Panthers Maul Turtles’ Winning Streak

Penang Black Panthers overcame all odds to finally break Terengganu Turtles 11-match undefeated streak after a hard-fought 2-1 win in the eighth round of the Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL) 2016 at the Serdang Jaya Municipal Council Stadium today.
Turtles were triumphant over the Panthers the last time both these sides met with a 2-1 (21-15, 14-21, 21-19) win.
As expected, the Turtles trio Zulkifli Razak (tekong), Azwan Muhrim (feeder) and Kamal Alfiza Shafie (striker) took home the first set 21-17 after dominating for the most part of it.
The introduction of striker Azlan Alias midway through the tie motivated the Black Panthers to a 21-14 second set win as they stayed alive and forced a rubber set.
That forced Turtle’s coach, Vitaya Boonta to rush ruthless striker, Fadzli Roslan straight back into action despite Fadzli still recovering from a back injury suffered during the reverse fixture against the Penangites.
However, it was Azlan who starred as his vital blocks and spikes inspired the Black Panthers to a famous victory as he, alongside Syahir Rosdi and captain, Zaim Razali secured a famous victory and upset the many Terengganu fans who made the trip down south to support their beloved team.
Despite the loss, Terengganu Turtles stay top, 4 points ahead of Penang Black Panthers who have a game in hand. Panthers will hope to cut Turtles lead to 2 points when they face bottom-of-the-table Melaka Titans on Sunday.
Meanwhile in a third against fourth encounter, defending champions ATM Guardians proved victorious after claiming a 2-1 victory over Kuala Lumpur Thunder to move level on points with the City Boys.
The Guardians started the stronger side as their trio of Nazmi Najib (tekong), Norfaizzul Razak (feeder) and Afiffudin Razali (striker) beat the Thunder’s Aizat Nor Azmi (tekong), Amirul Zazwan Amir (feeder) and Zamree Dahan (striker) 21-16 in the first set.
In the second set, Thunders’ powered back to win 21-16 to ensure they put up a tough fight to remain in third place of the league bringing the match into the rubber set.The rubber set saw both teams play catch up with each other as both were guilty of unforced errors made throughout.
However, Guardians with the help of Hasman Che Hamid who came in place for Nazmi saw out a 21-12 win to ensure they book the last playoff spot as the season approaches the end.After today’s defeat, Thunders’ will next face Johor Tigris on Sunday as they look to confirm their playoff spot, with only three matches remaining.

Friday (2 December 2016):
Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL):
Penang Black Panthers bt Terengganu Turtles 2-1 (17-21, 21-14, 21-16)
ATM Guardians bt Kuala Lumpur Thunder 2-1 (21-16, 16-21, 21-12)

Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL):

Saturday (3 December 2016): Kedah Eagles v Melaka Titans (4pm), Kelantan Warriors v Johor Tigris (5.30pm).
Sunday (4 December 2016): Melaka Titans v Penang Black Panthers (4pm), Johor Tigris v Kuala Lumpur Thunder (5.30pm).