GENTING HIGHLANDS (11 February, 2017): Both SS Purple League (SSPL) 2016/17 finalists, Puchong United BC and Petaling Jaya BC will be looking to go all out as they look to claim their first SSPL title after securing a place in Sunday’s final at Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting.
In last year’s edition, Petaling Jaya finished runners-up while Puchong United came in third place.
However this season Puchong United knocked out defending champions Muar BC as they won the clash 11-4 while Petaling Jaya qualified for the final after scrapping past debutants BU Dragons BC through the narrowest of points margin as their match finished 12-12 in yesterday’s semi-finals.
Puchong United’s team manager, Irina Inozemtseva maintained that her Puchong United side has to show respect to their opponents this Sunday, Petaling Jaya despite her team being labelled favourites to win this season’s SSPL by many.
“Our opponent has good fighting spirit. We saw it in the quarter final against Petaling BC and yesterday against BU Dragons BC. It is not easy to beat those two teams and they did it so we have to be cautious. I am sure that the final will be a tight one,” said Irina.
“In addition, they have a strong squad with high quality players such as Goh Giap Chin, Kim Sa Rang, Koo Kien Keat and many others,” she added.
The team manager will be looking to put out her strongest line-up for the final as well in her team’s title bid.
“I watched the semi-finals match between Petaling Jaya and BU Dragons and we will have to reassess and analyse our opponents closely. I will have to also look at my players and pick those I see fit to overcome the challenge posed by our opponents this Sunday,” said the Russian.
“Whatever it is, I am confident my players will perform in the final. And of course I hope that we will win because it is our dream to be crowned SSPL champions,” added Irina.
Meanwhile, Petaling Jaya’s team manager, Manoj Kumar admitted that his team will be the underdogs for this Sunday’s final.
“Puchong United has a very strong squad, not just on paper but also based on their displays in the knockout rounds. And plus they are strong in all the categories,” said Manoj.
“But we will try to steal as many points as we can. As we learned, it is not always about winning the game but also collecting as many points in each match. Maybe in the men’s doubles match we can win in straight sets and hope that other players do their parts in putting on a good display – something that helped in our win over Petaling BC previously,” added the manager.
Manoj also praised his team captain and singles player, Goh Giap Chin who has been in outstanding form and played a vital role in Petaling Jaya’s route to the final.
“We will go all out to get first place and I hope Giap Chin and once again lead us to the title. We will want to go one better as we only finished runners-up last season,” said Manoj after yesterday’s semi-final win over BU Dragons.
Puchong United and Petaling Jaya will go head to head in the final which will take place in Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting this Sunday at 2pm.