National team defeat Iran and India in straight sets to start their ISTAF SuperSeries MALAYSIA 2013/14 campaign
KOTA KINABALU (31 OCTOBER 2013): Top seeds Malaysia registered a fairly easy win over Iran and then took down a determined India in their opening Group A matches in ISTAF SuperSeries Malaysia 2013/14.
First choice tekong Noor Azman Abdul Hamid, who is making his return to the national team after last appearing in the 2011 SEA Games and mainstays Mohd Syazreen Qamar Salehan and Mohd Hanafiah Dolah opened the international tournament by defeating fourth seeds Iran 15-8, 15-4 at the Likas Sports Complex here.
In their second match, however, coach Jamaluddin Hassan played second choice tekong Fazil Mohd Asri and striker Kamal Alfiza Shafie alongside Syazreen. The trio won the first set 15-4, but faced a more determined Indian side in the second and scraped by to win 15-12.
“I’m satisfied with our game in the first match, but we gave away a lot of points in the second due to Fazil’s inconsistent service,” said Jamaluddin. “We need to minimise mistakes and also avoid applying too much pressure on ourselves, especially when playing a team like India.”
He added that his team’s final group match tomorrow against Indonesia would be crucial as they had to win to avoid meeting Thailand in the semi-finals.
“We must win at all costs,” he said. “The Indonesians are more consistent and we can’t afford to make any mistakes against them.”
Malaysia, who finished runners-up in the two previous ISTAF SuperSeries 2013/14 legs in India and Thailand, are grouped with Iran, India and Indonesia in Group A. Group B has second seeds Thailand, third seeds Japan, Singapore, Brunei and Germany.
In the women’s opening Group A matches, Vietnam and Malaysia were each awarded automatic 2-0 walkover wins over Korea after the team failed to show up due to player injury and technical difficulties. In Group B, top seeds Thailand defeated Japan 15-10, 15-8.
ISTAF SuperSeries Malaysia, October 31-November 3, is the third and final leg of ISTAF SuperSeries 2013/14. The ISTAF SuperSeries Final is scheduled to be held February 13-16 next year in Kuala Lumpur.
The ISTAF SuperSeries platform is created by Asia Sports Ventures – the International Sepaktakraw Federation’s (ISTAF) exclusive global commercial and development partner. The Malaysian leg is supported by Persatuan Sepaktakraw Malaysia (PSM).
* Note to editor: Malaysia plays Vietnam in the women’s competition at 6.30pm; updates to come after the match. A recap of all today’s matches not played at Press time will be included in tomorrow’s report.
ISTAF SuperSeries Malaysia 2013/14
Group A: Malaysia bt Iran 2-0 (15-8, 15-4); Indonesia bt India 2-0 (15-7, 15-10)
Group B: Thailand bt Japan 2-0 (15-2, 15-9); Singapore bt Brunei 2-1 (8-15, 16-14, 15-13); Thailand bt Germany 2-0 (15-1, 15-3); Indonesia bt Iran 2-0 (15-2, 15-7)
Group A: Vietnam w/o Korea 2-0; Malaysia w/o Korea 2-0
Group B: Thailand bt Japan 2-0 (15-10, 15-8)
More information on ISTAF SuperSeries Malaysia
ISTAF SuperSeries Malaysia 2013/14 is the third and final round of ISTAF SuperSeries 2013/14. Alongside the ISTAF World Cup, the elite, internationally-recognised ISTAF SuperSeries is the only sepaktakraw tournament acknowledged 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. Group, play-off and quarter-final matches will be decided in three sets over 15 points while the semi-finals, 3rd/4th placing and final matches will all be played over five sets.
ISTAF SuperSeries Malaysia 2013/14 will be televised on ASTRO Arena (in High Definition) and RTM. Selected matches including the men’s quarter-finals, third-fourth placing match and both men’s and women’s finals will be aired live.
All in all, ISTAF SuperSeries Malaysia 2013/14 will be watched by fans in 70 countries.
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