KUALA LUMPUR: Ampang Jaya BC dashed Kepong BC’s hopes of qualifying to Stage 2 of the SS Purple League (SSPL) 2016/17 after winning 12-6 on Friday at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium in 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 point advantage over their opponents.
It was clear from the start 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 debutante, Moe Araki, managed to put her team in the lead after she ran out 3-1 winner over her opponent from China, Xu Wei, in the women’s singles match.
But it was Ampang Jaya who took the tie by the scruff of the neck 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 games.
Even with their wealth of experience on the international stage, Kepong’s Hendra Aprida Gunawan-Mohd Razif Ab Latif could not beat the youthful pair of Lukhi Nugroho-Muhammad Syawal in the men’s doubles match; while Peck Yen Wei-Tan Chee Tean suffered a similar fate in the mixed doubles match, losing to Ampang Jaya’s Ririn Amelia-Terry Hee Yong Kai.
To make matters worse, Kepong’s Thai import, Thongnuam Pannawit, suffered defeat in the last 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 improved from that point,” said Ampang Jaya’s head coach, Ho Khek Mong.
Despite being in a comfortable position, Khek Mong hopes that his team will not rest on their laurels as they will be up against World No 1 Lee Chong Wei and his Petaling BC team on Saturday.
In fact, 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 one game more than the Dragons.
SSPL 2016/17 Results
(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)