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Friday September 27, 2013 MYT 10:50:00 PM
Friday September 27, 2013 MYT 10:51:16 PM
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia may have qualified for the quarter-finals of ISTAF SuperSeries in Bangkok, Thailand but the way they have gone about doing it has left a lot to be desired.
Malaysia were largely unimpressive despite scoring 2-0 wins against both Japan (15-10, 15-12) and Germany 2-0 (15-7, 15-6) in their Group B matches.
Malaysia will now meet meet China in Saturday’s quarter-finals.
Team manager Jamaluddin Hassan was critical of his charges, saying that they “had to learn to stick to their own standard” when facing lower-ranked teams.
“We still need to train even harder to speed up our game and reduce the number of errors, particularly when it comes to our service. Besides that, we have to work on getting into our rhythm as fast as possible – there will be no room for error in the three-set format,” warned Jamaluddin.
In keeping with their practise of exposing all players to top-level competition, Jamaluddin and coach Iskandar Arshad have tried out new combinations in both their SuperSeries matches.
First-choice tekong Ahmad Aizat Azmi and SuperSeries newcomers Mohd Syazreen Qamar Salehan (feeder) and Mohd Hanafiah Dolah (striker) were used against Germany while Norshahruddin Mohd Ghani, Mohd Syazreen and Sahidan Mohd Ali took to the court against Japan.
Hanafiah struck seven winners against Germany, but Sahidan’s first SuperSeries match saw the 19-year-old tekong fumbling with eight service errors.
“Despite some poor performances, we still intend to use all our players in the SuperSeries and not just stick to the usual line-up,” said Jamaluddin.
“They have been training for a long time and need to prove that they can remain in the team,” he added.
In the women’s competition, Malaysia will square off against top seeds and defending champions Thailand in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Malaysia, who lost to South Korea 2-0 (16-14, 15-11) in their first match but bounced back to beat China 2-0 (15-8, 15-7) on Thursday, were awarded an automatic 2-0 walkover win over Indonesia in their last match.
Coach Mohd Fikri Mohd Noor said his team would have to brush up to face the Thais, who have been in top form in their group matches and have seen off India, Japan and third seeds Vietnam in straight sets.
“It’s going to be very tough. The Thais have a good all-round game and we need to improve in every single department, from service control to court movement, to match them,” said Mohd Fikri.
South Korea, who defeated China 15-8, 15-5 in their last Group B match, will take on Vietnam in the other semi-finals.
Tags / Keywords:
sepak takraw, ISTAF SuperSeries, Malaysia, Jamaluddin Hassan
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