Brunei (foreground) played
Indonesia in Palembang
yesterday. Pictures: Infofoto
IT Was a nail-biting match, but Brunei ended up at the losing end.
The national sepak takraw regu team failed to advance to the semi-finals after falling 2-3 (9-15, 15-13, 13-15, 15-8, 7-15) to Indonesia in Group A of the Men's Regu event of the 26th Southeast Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia, yesterday.
The Bruneians showed plenty of characters having to fend off a pro-Indonesian crowd at the Jakabaring Promotion Centre.
Brunei had a nervy start, allowing the hosts to jump to a 12-3 lead.
But, they managed to pick up the pieces and closed in to 12-9 after a timeout. The Indonesians, however, did not let things slip taking the first set 15-9.
The Bruneians came out a better team at the start of the second set resulting in a neck-and-neck battle. With the scoreboard reading 5-5, the hosts scored five unanswered points before another timeout by Brunei. It worked wonders the Bruneians making a strong comeback to edge their opponents 15-13.
This was followed by another close set with both teams unable to be separated.
It was a good fight with both sides deadlocked at 10-10. However, several good plays by Indonesia handed them the set (15-13) for a 2-1 lead.
Brunei were on full attack mode in the fourth set storming to a 7-0 lead. Indonesia then managed to get their act together, but the deficit was too big to make a comeback allowing Brunei to force a rubber set after winning 15-8.
Indonesia would rally their fans in the final set improving on their service game.
Brunei were finding it difficult to counter and fell to their opponents 15-7 on the last hurdle.
Despite the setback, national sepak takraw coach Ittiphol Chomchaissak was satisfied with his team's performance.
"Like I said before, it was a 50-50 match. I'm happy with the way the team played because in the (26th) King's Cup (Sepak Takraw World Championship 2011) we lost to the same opponents 3-1. This time we managed to push them to the limit," said Ittiphol to The Brunei Times yesterday.
"The team really showed what they are capable of. They did well and showed good fighting spirit but we will still need to improve because their (Indonesia's) service game gave them a lot of points," added the 44-year-old Thai.
The campaign for the sepak takraw team is not over yet as the trio of Md Shukri Jaineh, Ismail Ang and Nur Alimin Sungoh will represent the country in the doubles event on Wednesday.
They have to win two matches to advance to the semi-finals and have once again been grouped with the hosts Indonesia. The other teams in the group include Vietnam and Laos.
Courtesy from Brunei Times