Nusajaya BC got a surprise win to their campaign in the Resorts World Genting Purple League 2015/2016 when they overcame a gritty Petaling Jaya BC 11-8 here at the Sports Arena @ Sentosa.
The southerners who had finished tenth out of twelve teams in the inaugural season of the Purple League 2014/2015 were a lot more determined as they roped in the likes of Malaysia’s Hoon Thien How and Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana into their side.
But it was to be youngster Tan Teck Han, who had played for Nusajaya in the recent Junior Purple League who provided the right boost in the men’s singles when he trots to a 3-1 win over Petaling Jaya BC’s Lu Qi.
After taking the first set 11-8, Teck Han lost focus to go down 11-5 before recovering to win 11-7 and 11-4.
“I really did not expect us to win today because based on the name list, their (Petaling Jaya) players are quite formidable,” said Nusajaya manager-coach Aaron Lee Ambaraj.
“It was very close on the day, so it was a bonus to win our first game of the Purple League this year.
“There are improvements for sure from our team. We had exposed our young players like Teck Han, so we are very excited to so how he will fare in the coming matches.”
But it would be the women singles which would provide much of the entertainment of the day when Nusajaya’s Hong Kong import Yip Pui Yin battled against Petaling Jaya’s Michelle Li, who hails from Canada.
In a battle that lasted close to an hour Michelle, the reigning Commonwealth Games champions, picked up the first two sets 11-5, 11-6 before Pui Yin clawed back to win the next two 11-8, 11-10.
But Michelle just had that little extra gusto to win the final set 11-9.
“I thought that both of us were not at our best today. We lost focus here and there but I’m just glad that I won although it was very close,” added Michelle.
“The standard of the league here is definitely higher than the leagues in Europe where I have taken part in previously. So I hope to improve on my game and also help Petaling Jaya win the crown.”
With the overall score at 5-4 to Nusajaya’s advantage, the mixed doubles saw Petaling Jaya fighting back to win with an outright 3-0 victory through the pair of Alan Chan-Woon Khe Wei.
Alan and Khe Wei edged Nusajaya’s Amelia-Lim Khim Wah 11-6, 11-6 and 11-8 to take the lead at 7-5 for the first time in the tie.
But that advantage did not last very long as Hoon Thien How-Teo Kok Siang then regained the lead for Nusajaya with a 3-0 win over Koo Kien Kiat-Vountus Indramawan (11-10, 11-8 and 11-6).
The score stands at 8-7 to Nusajaya.
The final men’s singles would see Malaysia’s Muhammad Hafiz – playing for Petaling Jaya – battling Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana for the decisive points.
But the former All England champion Hafiz was just a tad off the pace despite taking the first game 11-7. He just could not cope with Boonsak’s aggressive play as he made numerous mistakes to allow the latter to win 11-10, 11-4 and 11-10.
The 3-1 win for Boonsak allowed Nusajaya to win the game 11-8.