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Brunei kick into semis
Saturday, March 8, 2014

Malaysia's Hanfiah Dolah (2nd R) in action against Japan during their International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) Super Series 2013/2014 Finals yesterday. Malaysia will play Brunei in the semi-finals today. Picture: Bernama

(From L in yellow) Ismail Ang, Nur Alimin Sunggoh and Mohd Hafizuddin Jamaluddin thank their opponents at the net after their quarter-final match against Singapore yesterday. Picture: Courtesy of Asia Sports Ventures

Brunei advanced to the semi-finals of the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) Super Series 2013/2014 Finals for the first time after dispatching Singapore 2-0 (15-11, 15-6) yesterday.

The victory sets them up against hosts Malaysia in the last-four matchup today.

Malaysia defeated Japan 2-0 (15-1, 15-9) to book their berth.

The result also means that it is the Sultanate's best performance at the competition to date.

The national sepak takraw team played the trio of Ismail Ang (killer), Nur Alimin Sunggoh (tekong) and Mohd Hafizuddin Jamaluddin (feeder) against Singapore.

Singapore had the better start at the Titiwangsa Stadium in Kuala Lumpur to open up a 6-2 lead.

With the crowd rallying behind Brunei, they notched three straight points, forcing Singapore coach Padzli Othman to call a timeout.

It didn't stop the Sultanate's momentum and Singapore had to send in tekong Nurirwan Mazlan to replace Danial Feriza Padzli while trailing 9-8.

It didn't stifle the Bruneian side as Danial subbed back in when Brunei were up 12-10.

Holding serve, Brunei closed out the set with an ace by Nur Alimin at 15-11.

Singapore were having trouble with their service game, conceding five service faults in the opening set.

It was evenly contested in the early going of the second set with both teams tied at 6-6.

Brunei scored the next two points before Padzli called a timeout to regroup his team.

It didn't stop the rot as Singapore looked lost on the floor.

Thanks to the good service game of Nur Alimin, Brunei went on to score the next nine points to see them progress into the semi-finals.

Defending champions Thailand are also through to the last-four after dispatching Indonesia 2-0 (15-2, 15-10).

They will face South Korea, who beat India 2-0 (15-10, 15-3) in the other quarter-final match.

The first semi-finals will begin at 2pm onwards.

Brunei started their campaign with a 2-1 victory over Japan in Group D on Wednesday.

They were stunned 2-1 by China but finished top of the group after bouncing back with a 2-0 triumph over Iran on Thursday.

Mohd Shukri Jaineh (killer) and Mohd Alifuddin Jamaluddin (tekong) are the other two Bruneians on the squad.

Brunei competed in all three rounds of the ISTAF Super Series 2013 last year.

They finished ninth in the first two legs in India and Thailand respectively.

With the seniors busy preparing for the 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, the junior squad rose to the challenge and placed sixth in the final leg in Kota Kinabalu from Oct 31 - Nov 3.

Courtesy from Brunei Times