Serdang (18 December, 2016): Penang Black Panthers were crowned the new kings of sepak takraw national level after defeating Kuala Lumpur Thunder 2-0 to claim the Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL) 2016 for the first time since its initiation two years ago.
The Panthers finally got their hands on the trophy this time around after they came close only to see their hopes dashed by ATM Guardians in the final of the last STL edition.
The 2,500 crowd mostly of whom were Panthers fans were not to be disappointed as they saw their team dominate the entire match not allowing Thunder any chance of staging a comeback.
Panthers’ trio Syahir Rosdi (tekong), Zaim Razali (feeder) and Azlan Alias (striker) cruised to an early lead in the first set before going on to win 21-15 prompting Azhar Sarabini, Thunders’ coach into an early change which saw Farid Aziz (tekong) replaced by Aizat Nor Azmi and Hafiz Rahman (striker) replaced by Zamree Dahan.
Thunder lost the magic which brought them all the way to the finals as they looked a more jaded side than the one which humbled Terengganu Turtles 2-0 in their semi-finals match yesterday as they again found themselves trailing Panthers in the second set.
Thunders’ skipper, Amirul Zazwan Amir (feeder) kept on pushing his team however, there was nothing much they could do against the resilience of the Panthers who not only were quick throughout but also mentally focused and kept their composure throughout the match.
In the end, it was all Panthers as they took home the second set 21-10 to see themselves worthy champions of the STL after a brilliant and consistent performance throughout the entire campaign.
Panthers’ victory today meant not only do they walk away with the STL trophy, but they also take home the prize money worth RM 40, 000 while witnessing their talisman, Syahir walked away with the most coveted prize of the tournament, the STL Most Valauble Player (MVP) of the Final 2016.
Syahir walks away with the total prize money of RM4, 800 after also capturing two other individual awards, STL League’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) 2016 and the STL Best Tekong for the year 2016. Syahir, Zaim and Azlan also saw their names on the All STL Second Team when they were presented their awards last week.
PSM A crash to a 2-0 defeat to Perak The Bos Gaurus in the Division 1 STL 2016 final at the Serdang Jaya Municipal Council Stadium, earlier today.
PSM A trio Idham Sulaiman (tekong), Safarudin Abu Bakar (feeder) and Ridaudin Ghani (striker) got off to a good start in the first set as they dominated the early stages of the game. However, they soon lost their foot and allowed Perak the chance to stage a comeback.
Perak’s fighting spirit spurred them on to take home the first set 21-18, requiring only 24 minutes to do so.
The second set saw Perak’s trio Zulfikar Amin (tekong), Shohibul Salam (feeder) and Fadzil Mustafa (striker) began the match fiercely when they stormed to an early lead. However, PSM A refused to go down easily as they got themselves back into the match after levelling the score at 18-18.
Perak endured a nervy end to win 21-18 after already ensured of a place in the Premier Division next season. The Bos Gaurus team will also walk away with the prize money worth RM10, 000 while runner-up PSM A saw themselves holding on to the RM 7, 000 cash.
Sunday (18 December 2016):
STL Division 1 3rd- 4th playoff:
Perak Bos Gaurus bt Selangor (21-9, 21-13)
Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL) 3rd- 4th playoff:
Kuala Lumpur Thunder bt Terengganu Turtles (21-14, 21-14)
STL Division 1 Championship Game:
Perak Bos Gaurus bt PSM A (21-18, 21-18)
Ekspres Perdana Sepak Takraw League (STL) Championship Game:
Penang Black Panthers bt Kuala Lumpur Thunder (21-15, 21-10)
* Serdang Jaya Municipal Council Stadium, Selangor