KUALA LUMPUR (6 January, 2017): Ampang Jaya BC dashed Kepong BC’s hopes of qualifying to Stage 2 of the SS Purple League (SSPL) 2016/17 after winning their encounter against Kepong 12-6, earlier today at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium, Cheras.
Ampang Jaya occupied sixth spot in the SSPL standings while Kepong were seventh before their match kicked off, with Ampang Jaya holding a commanding 11 points advantage over the team from Kepong.
It was clear from the offing that it would be a close encounter between the two sides after Lim Chi Wing of Kepong and Ampang Jaya’s Cheam June Wei could only play to a 2-2 draw in the opening men’s singles match.
Kepong’s Japanese debutant, Moe Araki managed to put her team into the lead after she ran out 3-1 winner over her opponent from China, Ampang Jaya’s Xu Wei in the women’s singles match.
But it was Ampang Jaya who took the tie by the scruff of the necks to gain an unassailable lead and book their ticket into Stage 2 of the SSPL 2016/17 as their men’s doubles and mixed doubles pairs won their respective matches in straight sets.
Even with their wealth of experience on the international stage, Kepong’s Hendra Aprida Gunawan and Mohd Razif Ab Latif could not beat the youthful Ampang Jaya pair of Lukhi Nugroho and Muhammad Syawal in the men’s doubles match while Peck Yen Wei and Tan Chee Tean suffered similar fate in the mixed doubles match, losing to Ampang Jaya’s Ririn Amelia and Terry Hee Yong Kai.
To make matters worse, Kepong’s Thai import, Thongnuam Pannawit suffered defeat in the lat match of the tie to Ampang Jaya’s Lee Cheuk Yiu 1-3.
“We knew it was an important match and I told my players to forget about the pressure. It was also important for us to begin the match well, and to get the two points in the first men’s singles match was vital for us and we gradually improve from that point,” said Ampang Jaya’s head coach, Ho Khek Mong.
Despite being in a comfortable position now, Ho hopes that his team will not rest on their laurels as they will be up against World Number 1, Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei and his Petaling BC team tomorrow.
On the contrary, it will be a tall order for Kepong to qualify for Stage 2 of the SSPL 2016/17 as they trail sixth placed BU Dragons BC by 8 points having played a game more than the Dragons.
SSPL 2016/17 Results (6 January 2017)
(4pm) Kepong BC lost to Ampang Jaya BC 6-12
MS2: Lim Chi Wing drew with Cheam June Wei 2-2 (11-9, 11-10, 9-11, 3-4)
WS: Moe Araki bt Xu Wei 3-1 (10-11, 11-8, 11-10, 10-8)
MD: Hendra Aprida Gunawan-Mohd Razif Ab Latif lost to Lukhi Nugroho-Muhammad Syawal 0-3 (4-11, 7-11, 8-11)
XD: Peck Yen Wei-Tan Chee Tean lost to Ririn Amelia-Terry Hee Yong Kai 0-3 (6-11, 7-11, 5-11)
MS1: Thongnuam Pannawit lost to Lee Cheuk Yiu 1-3 (6-11, 8-11, 11-6, 9-11)
SSPL 2016/17 Fixtures (7 January 2017)
(8pm) Klang City BC vs Serdang BC