National team needs to take game to a higher level at ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14
BANGKOK, (27 SEPTEMBER 2013): Malaysia may have qualified for the quarter-finals of ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14, but the way they have gone about doing it has left a lot to be desired.
The national team defeated Japan 15-10, 15-12 and Germany 15-7, 15-6 in their Group B matches, but were largely unimpressive despite their straight-set wins against teams ranked below them.
Team manager Jamaluddin Hassan said his charges had to learn to stick to their usual game and not play at the same level as lesser-ranked teams if they intended to perform at a higher level.
“But having said that, we still need to train even harder to speed up our game and reduce the number of errors, particularly when it comes to our service,” he said, adding that they also had to work on getting into rhythm as fast as possible as there was no room for error in the three-set format.
In keeping with their practice of exposing all players to top-level competition, Jamaluddin and coach Iskandar Arshad have tried out new combinations in both their SuperSeries matches. First-choice tekong Ahmad Aizat Azmi and SuperSeries newcomers Mohd. Syazreen Qamar Salehan (feeder) and Mohd. Hanafiah Dolah (striker) were used against Germany while Norshahruddin Mad Ghani, Mohd. Syazreen and Sahidan Md. Ali took to the court against Japan.
Hanafiah struck seven winners against Germany, but Sahidan’s first SuperSeries match saw the 19-year-old tekong fumbling with eight service errors.
“Despite some poor performances, we still intend to use all our players in the SuperSeries and not just stick to only the tried and tested ones,” said Jamaluddin. “They have been training for a long time and need to prove that they can remain in the team.”
Malaysia will meet China in tomorrow’s quarter-finals.
The women’s team will meet top seeds and defending champions Thailand in the semi-finals after completing their Group B fixtures today. Malaysia, who lost their first match 16-14, 15-11 to Korea but bounced back to beat China 15-8, 15-7, was awarded an automatic 2-0 walkover win over Indonesia in their last match.
Coach Md. Fikri Md. Noor said his team would have to brush up to face the Thais, who have been in top form in their group matches and have seen off India, Japan and third seeds Vietnam in straight sets.
“It’s going to be very tough,” Md. Fikri admitted. “The Thais have a good all-round game and we need to improve in every single department, from service control to court movement, to match them.”
Korea, who defeated China 15-8, 15-5 in their last Group B match, will take on Vietnam in the other semi-finals.
ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14, September 26-29, is the second leg of the internationally-recognised tournament and features the world’s best men’s and women’s teams in competition at Fashion Island, one of Bangkok’s largest shopping malls.
The ISTAF SuperSeries platform is created by Asia Sports Ventures (ASV) – ISTAF’s exclusive global commercial and development partner. ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14 is supported by local organisers Takraw Association of Thailand (TAT).
The second leg in Bangkok will be followed by ISTAF SuperSeries MALAYSIA 2013/14 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah from October 31 to November 3. The 2013/14 season kicked off with ISTAF SuperSeries INDIA in New Delhi from August 29 to September 1.
ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14
Group A: Korea bt India 2-0 (15-4, 15-3)
Group B: Japan bt Germany 2-0 (15-6, 15-9)
Group C: Singapore bt USA 2-0 (15-9, 17-16)
Group D: Iran bt Brunei 2-1 (15-8, 7-15, 15-8)
Group A: Thailand bt Vietnam 2-0 (15-8, 15-8); Japan bt India 2-0 (15-10, 15-11)
Group B: Korea bt China 2-0 (15-8, 15-5); Malaysia w/o Indonesia 2-0
Fixtures (September 28)
Malaysia vs China; Thailand vs Singapore; Korea vs Japan; USA vs Iran
Malaysia vs Thailand; Korea vs Vietnam
More information on ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14
ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14 is the second round of ISTAF SuperSeries 2013/14. Alongside the ISTAF World Cup, the elite, internationally-recognised ISTAF SuperSeries is the only sepaktakraw tournament recognised by ISTAF and therefore plays a key role in deciding the official ISTAF World Rankings.
In both men’s and women’s competition, only the top two teams from each group advance to the play-off stage based on points accumulated. Unlike ISTAF SuperSeries INDIA, where each match was decided over five sets, group, play-off and quarter-final matches here will be decided in three sets over 15 points. The semi-finals, 3rd/4th placing and final matches will all be played over five sets.
ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14 will be televised on Thailand’s leading network Channel 3. Sports fans throughout the region will get to enjoy almost eight hours of live TV coverage, as well as selected matches featuring the Thai men’s and women’s teams.
All in all, ISTAF SuperSeries THAILAND 2013/14 will be watched by fans in 70 countries.
Released by Shekhinah PR on behalf of Asia Sports Ventures.
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