Kuala Lumpur (29 December, 2016): TNB Thunderbolts will face two-time champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) in the first round of the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup knockout tournament which kicks off the 2017 TNBMHL season on January 6.Eight Premier League and eight Division One outfits will contest in the 2017 season opener Tan Sri P. Alagenda Cup in the absence of defending champions Sapura Hockey Club who have pulled out from all TNBMHL competitions this year.
Thunderbolts, the development team of Tenaga Nasional Berhad, won the division one league last season following a 2-1 win over Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) in the final. Both teams have since gained promotion to the Premier League while the Malaysian Hockey Confederation had also accepted Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)’s decision to feature in the elite division.
The draw for the knockout tournament also pits Premier Leagues sides Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club with Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) whilst Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) goes head to head against UiTM.
The remaining fixtures will be between Maybank and Universiti Putra Malaysia-KPT, Bandar Penawar-based SSTMI meets Johor, Royal Malaysian Police plays Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), Nurinsafi Hockey Club takes on Politeknik Malaysia-KPT whilst Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) goes into showdown with RMAF Rajawali.
Second round matches will be played on Jan 7, semi-finals (Jan 9) and final (Jan 10). There will be a draw in every round of matches except for the final of the knockout event which offers a winner’s purse of RM70,000.
Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Competitions Committee Chairman, George Koshy, said the venue and start times of all matches in the knockout tournament will be decided in the next few days. This is due to the Women World League Round 2 which starts in Kuala Lumpur from Jan 14-22 and the unavailability of venues.
The curtains for the 2017 Premier League goes up with the Charity Shield match between THT and former champions KLHC on Jan 13 at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu while Division One League starts on Jan 17. The six-team Women’s League gets off the ground on Feb 2 following the conclusion of the World League Round 2.
“Most teams competing in the Women World League Round 2 will be arriving in Kuala Lumpur in the next few days and the Tun Razak Stadium is the venue for the event so it may not be available. Bukit Jalil National Hockey Stadium is currently undergoing renovations while the lights at KLHA Stadium need to be upgraded. We have identified a few other grounds such as MBPJ, KPM and Subang RMAF,” added Koshy.
“That is why we are starting the season early with the knockout tournament in lieu of the Women World League,” he said, adding that MHC and KLHA will seek the assistance of Kuala Lumpur City Hall to improve the lighting system at the stadium as early as possible.
Matches at the KLHA Stadium will only be held at 4pm and 6pm.
Koshy also cautioned all players and team officials to refrain from commenting negative remarks on social media during the entire duration of the 2017 TNBMHL, adding that disciplinary action will be taken against those who vent their frustrations against umpires and opposing teams on social media.
“If you are not happy with the result of a match or an umpire’s decision you should bring the matter up with the tournament director. We have had such cases last year and have taken action against players and officials. So let this be a reminder once again,” said Koshy.
2017 TNBMHL TEAMS:
Premier League – Terengganu Hockey Team, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, TNB Thunderbolts, Maybank, Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club, Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School, Universiti Teknologi MARA.
Division One – Nurinsafi Hockey, Johor, RMAF Rajawali, Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya, KPT-Politeknik Malaysia, KPT-UTM, Royal Malaysian Police, Bukit Jalil Sports School.
Women League: The Cops, Terengganu Women Hockey Team, Kulim, Persatuan Hoki Daerah Johor Baru, SSTMI and PKS-Uniten-KPT.