* Draw for semi-finals to be held in KL
Manager-coach Pang Cheh Chang turned down a request by doubles players Tan Wee Kiong and Chan Peng Soon to return to Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday to play for their team Muar BC in the Purple League as Malaysia were involved in a late match against Singapore in their final round robin league match in the USD1 million Axiata Cup badminton tournament at the Britama Sports Hall in Jakarta.
As expected Malaysia made the semi-finals with a 2-2 draw against Singapore but could only manage a fourth place in the eight team competition. The top four teams made the semi-finals which will be played in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. The final is on Sunday.
Indonesia finished on top with 24 points from seven matches with Asia All Stars and Thailand second and third respectively with 19 points each, separated by games won and lost. Malaysia ended their preliminary round campaign with 17 points.
Indonesia and Asia All Stars with 19 points eacg finished on top and second place respectively – separated by games won and lost while Malaysia and Thailand will have to wait for the luck of draw as to who will be their semi-final opponents.
The semi-final draw was to be conducted in Jakarta at 9pm on Wedneday but there was a late change of venue.
Malaysia manager-coach Pang Cheh Chang also revealed that there will be a “change of guard” for Malaysia for the semi-finals in Kuala Lumpur. This, he said, was decided before the team arrived in Jakarta.
“It was not an easy in Jakarta when we arrived with a weakened lineup without Lee Chong Wei and Goh V She, Still, we prevailed despite facing several obstacles. However, the players gave their best and to be in the semis is itself an achievement.
“Hopefully we will meet Asia in the semis. It is easier to play Asia as we beat them 3-1 in the league. Indonesia is simply too strong. They have depth in all departments,” said Cheh Chang.
Lew Daren secured Malaysia’s first point with a hard-fought 55 minute battle in his all-Malaysian affair against Loh Kean Yew, who hails from Penang. Daren prevailed 18-21, 21-15, 21-19.
Singapore made it 1-1 when their China-born Liang Xiaoyu (world 143) upset Tee Jing Yi (28) in straight sets 21-9, 21-11 in 28 minutes. Tan Boon Heong-Tan Wee Kiong got Malaysia’s second point with a 21-16, 21-17 win against Loh Kean Hean-Terry Hee Yong Kai in 21 minutes before Chan Peng Soon-Lai Pei Jing lost to Danny Bawa Chrisnanta-Tan Wei han 12-21, 18-21.
RESULTS (Dec 3 Wednesday)
MALAYSIA 1 SINGAPORE 1
Liew Daren beat Loh Kean Yew 18-21, 21-15, 21-19
Tee Jing Yi lost to Liang Xiaoyu 9-21, 11-21
Tan Wee Kiong-Tan Boon Heong beat Loh Kean Hean-Terry Hee Yong Kai 21-16, 21-17
Chan Peng Soon-Lai Pei Jing lost to Danny Bawa Chrisnanta-Tan Wei Han 12-21, 18-21
EUROPE 1 VIETNAM 1
Brice Leverdez (Fra) beat Nguyen Hoang Nam 21-16, 21-18
Kirsty Gilmour (Scot) lost to Vu Thi Trang 8-21, 21-17, 18-21
Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov (Rus) beat Huynh Nguyen Khang-Boa Minh 21-8, 21-11
Robert Blair-Imogen Bankier (Scot) beat Dao Manh Thang-Pham Nhu Thao 21-15, 18-21, 21-15