Kuala Lumpur (8 Sept, 2016): The champion of the TNBMHL 2016 Division One League will be decided tomorrow and it all boils down to a close finish between Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI), TNB Thunderbolt and Politeknik Malaysia as the league moves into its last match this week.
Five other teams – Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Bukil Jalil Sports School (BJSS), Nur Insafi, ATM Airod and Ipoh Municipal Council (MBI) are way off the leaders.
Johor-based SSTMI and Thunderbolt have 12-equal points from six matches thus far but SSTMI go on top with a four-goal advantage over their arch rivals while Politeknik is third in the chart with 11 points.
Mathematically, all three teams stand an equal chance of emerging champions – albeit in different scenarios.
In the first scenario, should SSTMI win big over Politeknik Malaysia at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru and TNB get the better of ATM Airod at the Kuala Lumpur HA Stadium both teams would have finished with 15 points.
TNB Thunderbolt, however, will need to win by six or more goals against ATM Airod and in the process not concede any goal if they harbor hopes of winning the league title. Anything short here and the title goes to SSTMI who are expected to up the ante against Politeknik Malaysia as they stand a much better chance.
In the second scenario, should Politeknik Malaysia beat SSTMI and ATM Airod upset TNB Thunderbolt, it would open the door for Politeknik Malaysia to catapult to the top of the league with 14 points and snatch the title.
Ipoh Municipal Council (MBI), however, will take on Penang-based Nur Insafi at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium without the services of Mohamad Harris Fadila Zulkafli who is facing a two-match suspension for a off the ball incident last week.
At the conclusion of the Division One league, all eight teams will compete in a knockout tournament for the President’s Cup. The top four teams in the league will be seeded when the quarterfinals draw is conducted on Saturday (10 Sept, 2016).
Fixtures – Division One (Friday, 9 Sept, 2016): Ipoh Municipal Council (MBI) v Nur Insafi (Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium, 6.00pm); Bukit Jalil Sports School v Universiti Teknologi MARA-KPT (Ministry of Education Hockey Stadium, Jalan Pantai, 6.00pm); TNB Thunderbolt v ATM Airod (KLHA Stadium, 6.00pm); Politeknik Malaysia v Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (Taman Daya Hockey Stadium, 5.00pm).