Home > Sport > Other Sports
Monday October 21, 2013 MYT 8:05:00 PM
Monday October 21, 2013 MYT 8:06:52 PM
by ashreena pillai
KUALA LUMPUR: There should be no room for error if Malaysia are serious about capturing their first ISTAF SuperSeries title of the year when the third leg takes place in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, from Oct 31-Nov 3.
Team manager Jamaluddin Hassan said that making it to the finals of competitions should be second nature to Malaysia who were once a powerhouse in sepak takraw.
However, their tendency to gift easy points to opponents has led to their downfall.
This year, Malaysia reached the finals in both the first and second legs of the Series, but came up empty-handed after losing to South Korea and Thailand in straight sets (3-0) respectively.
“Our main problem is that we give away points so easily. In some instances, we were leading but managed to give away six to seven points in a set ... sometimes even four to five points just from our poor service,” said Jamaluddin.
“We make it so easy for our opponents to come back into the match. We have to learn to shut the door on them or it’s game over for us,” he added.
With the groupings yet to be decided, Malaysia are hoping for an easy passage to the knock-out round and hopefully landing themselves in the finals.
“Making the finals is what matters most. After that, it’s all about taking chances and making opportunities count. Playing on home soil does have its advantages and I hope we can come up with something extraordinary in Sabah,” he said. Besides that, there have also been numerous changes to the line-up.
For the home leg, Malaysia will be banking on the experiences of tekong Noor Azman Abdul Hamid who recently returned to the team after a hiatus to lead the charge together with tekong Mohd Fazil Mohd Asri, killers Mohd Hanafiah Dolah and Mohd Kamal Al-Fiza and feeder Mohd Syazreen Qamar Salehan.
Norshahruddin Md Ghani who suffered a ligament injury in his left knee during the 3-2 semi-final win over South Korea in Bangkok last month has been left out of the team.
“Changes in the line-up have been necessary as we don’t want to just concentrate on the same players every time. We try to switch things up to give everyone a shot at playing in the Series,” he said.
“The goal as always is to reach the finals and I’m confident of the boys. They’ve been doing well in training and hopefully will gel well,” he added.
“As for Norshahruddin, we’ve decided to not bring him along this time around as we don’t want to run the risk of him injuring himself again. Our main goal is the SEA Games this year and so, we’ve got to ensure we have our best possible team competing in Myanmar.”
Tags / Keywords:
sepak takraw, Malaysia, SEA Games, Istaf SuperSeries, Jamaluddin Hassan, Norshahruddin Md Ghani
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)