Malaysia's Izruin Refin in action against the French team during the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) Super Series 2013/2014 Final yesterday. Malaysia won the match 2-0. Bernama
Brunei booked their quarter-final berth of the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) Super Series 2013/2014 Final in style after topping group D at the Titiwangsa Indoor Stadium in Kuala Lumpur last night.
Joining Brunei in the last eight is Japan and the national team will face Singapore in the quarter-final today.
The national team fell to a 2-1 shock defeat at the hands of China in the first match yesterday but they bounced back in the second game, defeating Iran 2-0 to end the group stage with two wins and one loss.
According to the report in the tournament's official website, captain Ismail Ang, Mohd Hafizuddin Jamaluddin, Nur Alimin Sunggoh, Shukri Jaineh and Mohd Alifuddin Jamaluddin were too strong for the Iranian team which consist of Vahid Malaki, Hosein Moshkbar, Jamil Kor, Mehdad Jafari and Hamid Jafaripour.
Mohd Hafizzuddin impressed with his good defensive work, coming up with three saves.
Captain Ismail was equally spectacular with 21 spikes and eight saves in the game.
The breakdown of score between Brunei and Iran was not available as of press time.
In the earlier game against China, Brunei got off to a bright start but could not maintain their momentum.
China were stronger in the crucial points and won the first set 15-13 in just 15 minutes.
The national side would come back in the second set to beat the Chinese 15-13.
China stuck with their best three, with Yu Sheng Ge serving reasonably well and Huan Huan Li covering good ground, but it was Jie Jin who really shone, recording 19 spikes, three blocks and five saves to power his team to a 15-4 third set win.
Thirteen teams are currently vying for glory in the competition.
Group A is made up of Germany, India and defending champions Thailand while hosts Malaysia are in Group B alongside Singapore and France.
Group C consists of Indonesia, the United States and South Korea, and Brunei, Japan, China and Iran complete the lineup in Group D.
The top two teams from each group advance to the quarter finals stage.
The third placed team enters the 9th/12th playoff stage.
The last placed team in Group D enters the 11th/13th playoff stage.
Brunei took part in all three ISTAF Super Series legs that were held last year.
They finished ninth during the first two legs in India and Thailand before placing sixth in Sabah.
The Sultanate managed to pick up two bronze medals from the hoop event and men's team double event during last December's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar.
Nine teams are competing in the Women's series which Brunei are not participating in, namely Thailand, Indonesia and China in Group A, Vietnam, Myanmar and South Korea in Group B, and Malaysia, Japan and India in Group C.