Guardians’ book semis spot

By December 10, 2016 December 15th, 2016 Newsroom

Serdang (10 December, 2016): ATM Guardians finally secured a berth in the semi-finals of the Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL) 2016 after defeating Kedah Eagles 2-1 in their match at the Serdang Jaya Municipal Council Stadium, today.

Guardians who previously had fifth place, Johor Tigris constantly breathing down their neck can finally breathe a sigh of relief as they book their play-off spot together with Penang Black Panthers, Terengganu Turtles and Kuala Lumpur Thunder of whom all had earlier advanced.

The last time both these sides met were in the reversed fixture when Guardians recorded then their only second win of the season with a 2-0 victory over the Eagles. Since then, the Guardians have gone on to register another five more wins to ensure they stay in the top half of the table.

Eagles, however, started the match brightly storming into an early lead before going on to claim the first set, 21-15.

The Eagles trio Asrah Adenan (tekong), Zuleffendi Sumari (feeder) and Shahrol Nizam Romli (striker) saw their performances dipped in the second set, providing Guardians all the opportunity to stage a comeback to win 21-16 with the rubber set to decide the winner.

Guardians’ trio Nazmi Najib (tekong) then replaced by Hasman Che Hamid, Norfaizzul Razak (feeder) and Afiffudin Razali (striker) continued their fast-paced performance in the rubber set as the Eagles were caught off-guard a couple of times before strolling home with a 21-17 victory.

Guardians will meet Terengganu Turtles in the semi-finals next week after Turtles remain in second place in which they failed to take advantage of their last match of the season against Kelantan Warriors.

Turtles after enduring a brilliant campaign in this edition of the STL saw them record back-to-back defeats to Panthers, Thunder and latest to join the fray is struggling Kelantan Warriors.

Warriors determined to take full advantage over Eagles defeat earlier stormed to an early lead as they keep their head in the game in hopes of avoiding relegation. The Warriors’ trio Hisyam Mat (tekong), Aidil Aiman Azwawi (feeder) and Nur Yuslie Jusoh (striker) played brilliantly to ensure they stay in the Premier Division as they won the first set, 21-13.

Turtles coach, Vitaya Boonta brought on Fadzli Roslan in place of Kamal Alfiza Shafie in the second set, however, there is nothing much he could as the Warriors kept their head straight to ensure they go home with the victory in straight sets after a 21-15 win.

While the Warriors settle for sixth place, Eagles join Melaka Titans in the relegation zone as both teams will drop into the first Division of the STL. At the top half of the table, Penang Black Panthers remain at the summit of the table level regardless of the outcome of their match against Tigris tomorrow. They are currently level on points with Turtles.

The semi-finals of the STL will take place next week as Turtles take on Guardians while Panthers face-off with Thunder.

Saturday (10 December 2016):
Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL):
ATM Guardians bt Kedah Eagles 2-1 (15-21, 21-16, 21-17)
Kelantan Warriors bt Terengganu Turtles 2-0 (21-13, 21-15)

Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL):
Sunday (11 December 2016): Melaka Titans v Kuala Lumpur Thunder (4pm), Johor Tigris v Penang Black Panthers (5.30pm).

* Serdang Jaya Municipal Council Stadium, Selangor