Kuala Lumpur (19 Sept, 2016): Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) head coach Sarjit Singh has warned his players to be wary of Maybank when the two teams renew their ‘hostilities’ in the two-leg semifinals of the TNB Cup at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium on Wednesday.
THT, who won the Premier League title for the third consecutive year, are drawn to meet Maybank in the semifinals while Sapura Hockey Club is up against Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) when the draws for the TNB Cup and Women’s League Vivian May Soars Cup was conducted in the presence of team managers and members of the media at the Malaysian Hockey Confederation office today.
The TNB Cup return leg semifinals will be held on Sept 23 (Friday) at the KLHA Stadium and final on Sept 25 (Sunday) at the Tun Razak Stadium. The champions will receive RM100,000 and runner-up RM60,000.
“This year the levels of all the teams, including Tenaga Nasional Berhad, have been equal. We have to be wary of Maybank as in the last two years they have won the first leg semi-final matches against us in the TNB Cup but we came back strongly in the return leg to win and move into the final,” said Sarjit.
“So to take Maybank lightly would be an error in judgment and I have advised the players not to be over confident though we may have defeated Maybank in the Premier League twice this season.”
THT defeated Maybank 5-1 and 5-2 respectively in the two-leg TNBMHL 2016 Premier League but will surely miss the services of Harmeet Singh who injured his hand against Sapura in a league match
“Except for Harmeet we will parade the same line-up against Maybank and hope for the best. At one stage we were not even sure of qualifying to play in the TNB Cup but when some teams began fumbling along the way we saw our chances opening up and now we have to take our chances well and go for the double,” he added.
Maybank manager, R. Premkumar, observed: “Like Sarjit said we have had our chances in the last two years but fell in the return leg so we will certainly improvise our game in the TNB Cup. We don’t have that kind of pressure as THT does being the defending champions and we just hope to capitalize on mistakes of our opponents,” said Premkumar.
Former champions KLHA team manager, Ahmad Anuar Sham Kamar, said KLHC will view video recordings of matches against Sapura and take it from there. KLHA defeated Sapura 5-2 and 3-0 respectively in the Premier League.
“We know that THT and Sapura are among the toughest teams in the Premier League. Personally, Sapura will not be an easy team to beat. Results in the Premier League do not matter now anymore and we will hope for the best. The TNB Cup is a totally different ball game and we are fortunate there are no injuries in the squad,” said Ahmad Anuar.
Meanwhile, the draw for the Vivian May Soars Cup semifinals sees Women League champions Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) play against PKS-Uniten-KPT while Royal Malaysian Police Blue Warriors entertain ATM Pernama on September 21 at the Ministry of Education Hockey Stadium on Jalan Pantai.
The men’s Division One semifinals for the President’s Cup will also be held on the same day between league champions TNB Thunderbolt and Politeknik Malaysia while Universiti Teknologi MARA- (UiTM-KPT) and Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) go in action in the second semifinals at the Tun Razak Stadium.
Fixtures – TNB Cup 1st leg semi-finals (21 Sept): THT v Maybank (6.0pm); Sapura Hockey Club v Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (8.0pm). Both matches will be played at KLHA Stadium.
President’s Cup 1st leg semifinals: TNB Thunderbolt v Politeknik Malaysia (6.0pm); UiTM-KPT v SSTMI (8.0pm). Both matches will be played at Tun Razak Stadium.
Vivian May Soars Cup 1st leg semi-finals: SSTMI v PKS-Uniten-KPT (6.0pm); Blue Warriors v ATM Pernama (8.0pm). Both matches will be played at Ministry of Education Hockey Stadium, Jalan Pantai.