*Thailand edge Vietnam 3-1
A refreshed Chong Wei Feng, the team captain, led Malaysia to a resounding 4-0 win over Philippines in a round robin league match in the 3rd edition of the Axiata Cup tournament at the Britama Sport Mall in Jakarta on Tuesday afternoon while Thailand defeated Vietnam 3-1 in another match.
While Malaysia, the defending champions, moved to third place with 15 points from six matches, Thailand and Indonesia have 18 points each but the host have a game in hand over their rivals. Indonesia played All-Star Europe while All-Star Asia took on Singapore later on Tuesday night.
The top four teams in the round robin league will qualify for the semi-finals. The semi-finals and final of the richest badminton team tournament which carries a total prize money of USD1 million will be played in Kuala Lumpur from Dec 6-7.
The outcome of the remaining matches will have a bearing on Malaysia’s hopes as Asia have 12 points from five matches while Europe have 10 points from the same number of matches.
Wei Feng, the team captain, was rested in Malaysia’s 3-1 defeat to Thailand on Sunday and in the 4-0 win over Europe on Monday – a win which put Malaysia back in contention. But today he came back well rested to put Malaysia on the victory path with a 21-12, 21-14 win over Jayson Oba-on in 29 minutes.
Tee Jing Yi, who played a big role in Malaysia’s big win over Europe when she defeated Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour 21-11, 14-21, 21-18 in the women’s singles, was hardly stretched in her 21-12, 21-12 win over Airah Mae Nicole Aldo for Malaysia’s second point.
Tan Boon Heong-Tan Wee Kiong made it 3-0 for Malaysia after their 24-22, 21-11 triumph over Philip Joper Escueta-Ronel Estanislao in the men’s doubles. In the mixed doubles Chan Peng Soon-Lai Pei Jing were hardly troubled as they brushed aside Peter Gabriel Magnaye-Eleanor Christine Inlayo 21-16, 21-17.
“We could not find the rhythm in the first set,” said Boon Heong when asked of the close call in the first set..
Coach Pang Cheh Chang said after the win over Philippines: “We have to be wary how Indonesia’s match against Europe goes and also keep an eye on the Asia-Singapore. These are important matches that could decide the top four places.”
Vietnam’s solitary point came from their top ranked player Nguyen Tien Minh (No 17) who outplayed world No 11 Boonsak Ponsana in straight sets – 21-18, 21-13 – in 34 minutes.
Thailand won the men’s doubles through Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpuapech, the women’s singles (Porntip Buranaprasertsuk) and mixed doubles (Maneepong-Saprsire Taerattanachai).
MALAYSIA 4 PHILIPPINES 0
Chong Wei Feng beat Jayson Oba-on 21-12, 21-14
Tee Jing Yi beat Airah Mae Nicole Aldo 21-12 21-12
Tan Boon Heong-Tan Wee Kiong beat Philip Joper Escueta-Ronel Estanislao 24-22, 21=11
Chan Peng Soon-Lai Pei Jing beat Peter Gabriel Magnaye-Eleanor Christine Inlayo 21-16, 21-17
THAILAND 3 VIETNAM 1
Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpuapech beat Bao Minh-Huynh Nguyen Khang 21-17, 21-13
Boonsak Ponsana lost to Nguyen Tien Minh 18-21, 13-21
Porntip Buranaprasertsuk beat Dinh Thi Phuong Hong 21-13, 21-8
Maneepong Jongjit-Sapsiree Taerattanachai beat Duong Bao Duc-Dang Kim Ngan 14-21, 21-11, 21-17
FIXTURES (WEDNESDAY, DEC 3)
Thailand versus Indonesia
Philippines versus Asia
Singapore versus Malaysia
Vietnam versus Europe
(All matches at Britama Sport Mall, Jakarta)