Pic: Sabah HA secretary Avtar Singh
SABAH Boys demolished Malacca 5-2 in Group X of the 1MAS-Milo National Under-16 tournament to claim the favourites tag Friday.
Sabah will now face Selangor, who lost 2-1 to Malacca on Thursday, to decide their fate. A win or a draw will see Sabah play in the final, but if Selangor wins big, they will advance on goals difference.
In the Boys Group Y, Terengganu and Pahang will battle for a ticket to the finalSaturday, while the Girls Group X and Y champions will be decided in the final group matches.
Sabah HA secretary Avtar Singh said: "We finished fifth last year with these same set of players, and I believe we will be able to beat Selangor and play in the final."
Sabah have been very active for the last three years and results have started to show, as their girls and boys teams in the Junior Hockey League were also impressive.
"We have the facilities and coaches in place now, and these (Under-16 and JHL players) are the first set of players to emerge from our development programmes. Hopefully in a few years time, we will have a few players in the national senior and junior sides," said Avtar.
Sabah got their goals off Faiz Aiman (13th), Saifuddin Azli (21st, 43rd), Muhajir Rauf (40th, 45th). The Malacca goals were scored by Muhibuddin Moharam (18th, 50th).
RESULTS: Boys Group X: Malacca 2 Sabah 5; Group Y: Johor 2 Pahang 3.
Seventh-Ninth: Kuala Lumpur 0 Perak 1; 10th-11th: Kelantan 2 Perlis 0; 12th-13th: Kedah 2 Negri 7.
Girls Group X: Malacca 2 Negri 1; Group Y: Kuala Lumpur 4 Kedah 2.
Seventh-Ninth: Johor 0 Terengganu 1; 10th-11th: Perak 3 Pahang 2.
TODAY: Boys' Group X: Sabah v Selangor (KLHA, 4.15pm); Group Y: Pahang v Terengganu (KLHA, 5.30pm).
Seventh-Ninth: Perak v Penang (MOE, 7.30am).
Girls Group X: Negri v Penang (MOE, 4.15pm); Group Y: Kedah v Selangor (MOE, 5.30pm).
Seventh-Ninth: Terenggnau v Sabah (KLHA, 7.30am).
NOTE: All matches at Ministry of Education (MOE) and Kuala Lumpur HA (KLHA) at Jalan Pantai.