GENTING HIGHLANDS (10 FEBRUARY, 2017): Goh Giap Chin once again came to Petaling Jaya BC’s rescue as he delivered the winning points for his team and sent them into the SS Purple League (SSPL) 2016/17 Stage 2 final at the expense of debutants BU Dragons BC today at the Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting.
BU Dragons started off the better team after winning the first two matches. The Dragons’ Hong Kong import, Wei Nan scrapped past Petaling Jaya’s Dani Harsheel 3-2 in the first Men’s Singles match.
Their Women’s Singles, American import Zhang Beiwen too recorded a 3-2 win in her match as she ousted Petaling Jaya’s Deng Xuan.
However the tide turned as Petaling Jaya picked up two consecutive wins in the Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles match. Koo Kien Keat and Kim Sa Rang put on a ruthless display to beat BU Dragons’ experienced pair of Markis Kido and Mak Hee Chun 3-1.
Petaling Jaya carried their winning momentum into the mixed doubles after Lim Chiew Sien and Korean Shin Baek Cheol picked up an important 3-2 win against Yap Zhen and Chow Pak Chuu of BU Dragons.
In the deciding match, Petaling Jaya’s captain, Giap Chin once again kept his cool to secure the necessary points against BU Dragons’ Danish import, Emil Holst despite losing the match 2-3 to send his team into a final showdown against Puchong United BC this Sunday.
This Sunday will also be Petaling Jaya’s third appearance in the final after losing out on their previous two occasions in the cup competition.
“I played very well today and I have to credit my team because they fought alongside me,” said Giap Chin.
“BU Dragons are a strong team and they gave us a scare just now. But both teams played really well. We are excited and happy to be back in the final again but we have to refocus for this Sunday’s match, have a good rest and fight in the final against Puchong United,” Petaling Jaya team manager, Manoj Kumar.
A strong team performance by Puchong United BC saw them crush Muar BC’s hopes of winning the SSPL title for the third consecutive season as they ran out 11-4 winners in the first semi-final of the SSPL 2016/17 Stage 2 in Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting earlier today.
Puchong United who lost to top seed Muar in Stage 1, came straight out of the blocks as they raced to a 6-0 lead courtesy of straight sets wins in the first Men’s Singles and Women’s singles match. It was once again the Chinese Taipei duo, Chou Tien Chen and Tai Tzu Ying doing the damage.
World number 9 Tien Chen breezed past national shuttler, Zulfadli Zulkiffli 3-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-8) in the first match while world number 1 Tzu Ying came back to haunt her former team by beating Muar’s Chinese import, Shen Ya Ying 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-9) as well.
Muar kept their title defence hopes alive – albeit a slim one thanks to their Men’s doubles pair of Lee Yong Dae and Mohd Arif Ab Latif. The pair, making their first appearance of this season’s SSPL defeated Puchong United’s Lim Khim Wah and Tan Chee Tean 3-2 (11-10, 11-5, 7-11, 9-11, 8-7).
However, needing only to win two matches in the next two games, Puchong United’s Yoo Yeon Seong and Christinna Pedersen performed tremendously under pressure to deliver their team’s winning points.
The pair beat Muar’s Lee Hyo Jung and Chan Peng Soon 3-1 (11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-4) in the mixed doubles match to secure Puchong United’s spot in the final.
“This is a team event so it’s not about the best team with the best players but the best players with the best team who will win. From the first match to the last, the pressure was very high but we rode each point as a team. The reason we won is because we showed up as a team,” said Puchong United’s team manager, Irina Inozemtseva.
“Based on our performances today, we are the favourite to win the SSPL 2016/17 title. However, we have to be wary of our players’ conditions as they gave beyond their 100% today. Even if I tweak the line-up for the final, our players will still be comfortable with each other,” added the Russian.
SSPL 2016/17 Stage 2 Semi-finals Result (10 February 2017)
(8pm) Petaling Jaya BC drew with BU Dragons BC 12-12 (Petaling Jaya BC advanced into the final due to more points accumulation)
MS1: Dani Harsheel Alpesh lost to Wei Nan 2-3 (11-10, 8-11, 10-11, 11-10, 0-1)
WS: Deng Xuan lost to Zhang Beiwen 2-3 (7-11, 11-10, 5-11, 11-8, 6-11)
MD: Kim Sarang-Koo Kien Keat bt Mak Hee Chun-Markis Kido 3-1 (11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7)
XD: Lim Chiew Sien-Shin Baek Cheol bt Chow Pak Chuu-Yap Zhen 3-2 (9-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6)
MS2: Goh Giap Chin lost to Emil Holst 2-3 (11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 10-11, 9-10)
(4pm) Muar BC lost to Puchong United BC 4-11
MS1: Zulfadli Zulkiffli lost to Chou Tien Chen 0-3 (4-11, 7-11, 8-11)
WS: Shen Ya Ying lost to Tai Tzu Ying 0-3 (7-11, 8-11, 9-11)
MD: Lee Yong Dae-Mohd Arif Ab Latif bt Lim Khim Wah-Tan Chee Tean 3-2 (11-10, 11-5, 7-11, 9-11, 8-7)
XD: Chan Peng Soon-Lee Hyo Jung lost to Christinna Pedersen-Yoo Yeon Seong 1-3 (9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 4-11)