LEAGUE champions SSTMI Thunderbolts were merciless when they romped into the semi-finals of the Milo Cup by slaughtering 1Mas Perlis 16-1 in aggregate, and now their focus shifts towards counterparts SSP-MSP-Thunderbolts Wednesday.
On paper, the odds heavily favour SSTMI who are gunning for their fourth-consecutive MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League double.
But SSP-MSP Thunderbolts have also shown improvement from their league days, as they beat Bukit Jalil Sports School 8-2 on aggregate to advance to the semis.
And for the record, when SSTMI Thunderbolts met SSP-MSP Thunderbolts in the league, SSTMI could only beat them 3-1.
"They (SSTMI) have more seasoned players compared to us and we know what to expect when we go up against them.
"Despite being branded as the underdogs we are ready to put up a fight to earn a spot in the final,” said SSP-MSP assistant coach Madzli Ikmar, a former international.
SSTMI coach Wan Roslan Wan Rahman played down the 3-1 narrow win in the league, as he prepares his side for total domination.
“We took the league clash a little easy as it was our last fixture before the knock-out stage and we did not want to lose any players through suspension or injury for the Milo Cup.
“At this stage I'm sure my players would be able to keep their guards up and remain focused. We may come from the same family but I can assure you that it will be a fiercely contested affair in the two-leg semis,” said Wan Roslan.
The second semis will see last season's Milo Cup runners-up UniKL Young Guns up against Petaling Jaya City Council. PJCC and UniKL played to a 1-1 draw in the League.
WEDNESDAY: Semi-finals first leg: SSTMI Thunderbolts v SSP-MSP Thunderbolts (National Stadium I, 5.30pm); Petaling Jaya City Council v UniKL Young Guns (National Stadium II, 5.30pm).