Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Medal finish in sights
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The national sepak takraw team are much closer to delivering a goodbye gift to outgoing national coach Ittiphol Chomchaissak.

They are looking good for a semi-finals spot in the men's team double event at the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games after defeating Singapore 2-1 in their Group A opener yesterday in Naypyidaw.

The duo of Mohd Hafizzuddin Jamaludin and Md Shukri Jaineh had given the Sultanate the lead at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium B after overcoming Muhammad Magrib Ibrahim and Muhammad Haffiz Ramli 2-0 (21-16, 21-12) in the first match.

Brunei had the game in the bag after the pair of Ismail Ang and Abdul Hadi Ariffin Matazi also won 2-0 (21-19, 21-16) against Muhammad Afif Saifee and Muhammad Farhan Aman.

The only blemish came after Humaidi Brahim and Marzuki Munap fell to a 2-0 (21-18, 21-12) defeat at the hands of Hassan Aziz and Muhammad Nurirwan Mazlan in the final match.

Ittiphol was all smiles after the victory but felt that there is still plenty of room for improvements.

"The players in the first regu didn't play to their full capabilities like in training. They were only playing at around 70-80 per cent," said Ittiphol in an interview after the encounter.

"It was the same in the second regu and the players can still improve. But I'm still happy with the way they played. If they were only at 50 per cent then we would have lost.

"As for the third regu, the feeder was alright but we lost out on killer. We had smaller players and were at disadvantage for blocking as well," he added.

"I thought we made the correct rotation of players for today (Tuesday) but we might make some changes against Cambodia in the next game," continued the Thai national.

The Sultanate will face off against Cambodia today at the same venue whereby victory puts them top of Group A heading into the semi-finals - a guaranteed podium finish - tomorrow.

There were initially four teams in the group but Vietnam were forced to pull out of the competition with only two teams - four players - available.

Ittiphol is in an upbeat mood and is confident that they have what it takes to top their group.

"The win today is good motivation for the players and I hope they can produce the same kind of performance or better," said Ittiphol.

"We cannot lose against Cambodia. I'm confident and I believe that we have a good chance to beat them," he concluded.

Should Brunei lose against Cambodia today, then their chances on making it into the last-four will only be determined when the latter face off against Singapore tomorrow.

Group B is made up of Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos and hosts Myanmar.

Courtesy from Brunei Times