KUALA LUMPUR: What difference a year can make for Kuantan Synergy Badminton Club (BC)?
The Pahang-based side pulled off a superb feat of winning the Division 1 of the Aeon Credit Purple League Junior (ACPLJ) at the Arena Sports Sentosa yesterday – after earning promotion as the Division 2 runners-up last season.
The fifth ACPLJ season, which kicked off on Sept 21, saw its closest-ever title race in its history as Kuantan Synergy BC pipped Kepong BC to the title by virtue of losing five games less. Both sides finished the round-robin competition with 96 points each.
Under the Malaysia Purple League format, teams earn points based on the number of games won rather than matches.
Kuantan Synergy BC were crowned champions as they lost only 50 games compared to Kepong BC’s 55.
But Kuantan Synergy BC were certainly a deserving winner as they beat all their rivals in the nine-team competition.
That included the two wins they recorded yesterday – 15-2 against Cheras BC, the 2017 champions and 12-8 over Bandar Maharani BC.
Kuantan Synergy have their key players – boys’ singles Nur Firdaus Azman and girls’ doubles Taiwanese imports Sung Yi-hsuan and Hsu Yin-hui – to thank for their successful campaign.
The trio were undefeated in all the eight matches they played, delivering a combined 48 of 96 points won by the team.
Completing the top three standings are Bandar Maharani BC, who took third spot with 88 points.
“It’s just unbelievable! It took extraordinary spirit from everyone in the team to pull off this remarkable achievement, ” said Kuantan Synergy BC coach Azman Amman.
“We never doubted ourselves from the start. I told all my players that we have what it takes to contend for the title even though we’re the newcomers. And true enough, we have done it.”
The victory earned Kuantan Synergy BC RM40,000, while Kepong settled for RM20,000.
The Division 2 title went to Ayer Itam BC after they bagged 89 points to finish nine points ahead of two closest rivals – second-placed Klang Rising BC and third-placed Serdang BC – in the eight-team competition.
The inaugural Division 3, which was held from Sept 7-8, saw Penang’s Bagan BC topping the six-team battle with 59 points. They won by just one point from Cheras TP BC.
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