Serdang (20 November, 2016): The “Battle of the Razaks” saw Norfaizzul Razak (feeder) of ATM Guardians emerged victorious after his team edged Johor Tigris 2-1 in their sixth round of the Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL) 2016 at the Serdang Jaya Municipal Council Stadium, today.
The last time both the brothers faced off was in the reverse fixture early October in which Tigris saw out a 2-1 (16-21, 21-16, 16-21) victory.
This time around, Norfaizzul had the help of Nazmi Najib (tekong) and Afiffudin Razali (striker) to ensure his team carve out their 5th win of the season, just two days after defeating Melaka Titans 2-0 to occupy fourth place putting them level with third place KL Thunder with 10 points.
Norhafizi Razak (striker) led the line for the Southern Tigers with the support of Haidzir Rashid (tekong) and Lutfil Azmi (feeder) but there was nothing much they could do as Afiffudin produced another man-of the-match performance after a brilliant display against Titans, earning him Dashing’s Player of the Week Award.
Defending champions, Guardians made sure their chances of a shot at the title were not to be written-off when they produced a strong performance in the first set to storm to a 21-17 win.
However, Norhafizi was not buoyed by the idea of losing to his younger brother yet when he marshalled the team to come-back and win 21-17 in the second set. The tie-breaker proved to be too much for the Southern Tigers as they lost momentum which saw them miss a host of chances and a few unforced errors made to go home disappointed after going down 21-19 to the Guardians.
This defeat for the Tigris will definitely signal warning bells for Muhammad Ibrahim’s men as they have failed to collect a single point in their last 4 matches, which puts them in 6th place with 6 points after 9 matches.
The second match of the day saw Penang Black Panthers pile more misery on Kedah Eagles after another convincing 2-0 win to ensure they cut Turtles lead at the top of the table to 4 points.
The Eagles having lost their previous three games including their latest defeat at the hands of Thunder 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) yesterday, saw them go down to the Panthers without even putting up a fight.
Panthers well-known for their squad rotation throughout the tournament lined up with a different trio from the one which defeated Kelantan Warriors on Friday.
Fazil Asri (tekong), Zaim Razali (feeder) and Kamal Ishak (striker) proved too quick for the Eagles trio Asrah Adenan (tekong), Zuleffendi Sumari (feeder) and Shahrol Nizam Romli (striker) as they took home the first set 21-16 before repeating the same score line in the second set.
Panthers will next square-off with third place Thunder next Saturday while Eagles entertain second from bottom, Warriors with both teams hoping for some change of luck to their season.
Sunday (20 November 2016):
Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL):
ATM Guardians bt Johor Tigris 2-1 (21-17, 17-21, 21-19)
Penang Black Panthers bt Kedah Eagles 2-0 (21-16, 21-16)
* Serdang Jaya Municipal Council Stadium, Selangor