KUALA LUMPUR (23 January 2018): The top six SS Purple League (SSPL) 2017/18 clubs have taken full advantage of the transfer window to strengthen their respective squads in preparation for the SSPL Stage 2 which will be held from the 26th to 28th of January at the Sports Arena Sentosa, Old Klang Road.
The top 6 teams – Puchong United Badminton Club (BC), Ampang Jaya BC, Kepong BC, Cheras BC, Petaling BC and Petaling Jaya BC will be the main focus of the Stage 2 as they will play an extra two games which will be vital to determine their seeds for the SSPL 2017/18 Finals draw.
Favourites Puchong United BC showed no signs of letting up as they have acquired the services World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying, one half of the World No. 7 men’s doubles pair from Chinese Taipei, Lee Yang and national mixed doubles shuttler, Goh Liu Ying.
“The players that we have added are actually not new to us. They have played for us from last season. It is important that we keep the core of the team strong and that will help with our team chemistry,” said Puchong United BC’s team manager, Irina Inozemtseva.
“The inclusion of these players will definitely improve our team’s chances. We see that other clubs have also reinforced their squads so it will be very competitive. But I hope with the experience of our key players, they can shine in Stage 2 and the Finals and hopefully win us that ever-elusive title. We are ready to fight as a team,” added Irina.
Defending champions, Petaling Jaya BC have drafted in Thai international, Mek Narongrit and Abhishek Yelegar from India to strengthen their men’s singles department while also adding men’s doubles specialist, Korean international Kim Gi Jung.
“The arrangement for now by the coaching staff is for me to be the main singles player followed by our new signing, Mek Narongrit. We admit that we will both be facing high-ranked and more experienced players in our category. But this is a team event, and I hope that my teammates can also contribute some points for our team,” said the 24-year old.
Petaling BC also bolstered their squad by bringing in Thailand’s main singles player, Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, Korean international Lee Hyun Il and national shuttlers, Cheam June Wei and Peck Yen Wei.
Cheras BC made a wholesale of changes by bringing in experienced Indonesian shuttlers in the shape of Bellaetrix Manuputty, Shela Devi Aula, Riky Widianto, Pia Zebadiah Bernadet – sister of Olympic winner, Markis Kido and Japanese international, Shiori Saito.
Ampang Jaya BC and Kepong BC however did not make many changes to their existing squads, with the former only adding Tai Jing Yi to their ranks while the latter signed Qin Jin Jing.
All Stage 2 matches will be played at Sports Arena Sentosa, Old Klang Road from the 26th to 28th January 2018.
The top 6 teams will then move on to the knockout stage in Arena of Stars, Resorts World Genting from the 8th to 11th February 2018 with the top 2 receiving byes to the semi-finals round.
Tickets for the SSPL Finals will go on sale starting this Thursday (25 January) and will be priced at RM55 and RM65 ranging from two different categories. Ticket purchases will be available online at www.rwgenting.com.
SS Purple League 2018 Stage 2 Fixtures
26 January 2018
(4pm) Kepong BC vs Petaling BC
(8pm) Puchong United BC vs Petaling Jaya BC
27 January 2018
(12pm) Bangsar Hawks BC vs Serdang BC(7th/8th Playoff)
(4pm) Cheras BC vs Petaling Jaya BC
(8pm) Ampang Jaya BC vs Kepong BC
28 January 2018
(4pm) Ampang Jaya BC vs Petaling BC
(8pm) Puchong United BC vs Cheras BC