PIC: KLHC's Haziq Samsul (left) challenges TNB's Amir Farid (centre) for the ball during their TNBMHL 2016 Premier League match at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium Sunday. KLHC 2-2 TNB.
SAPURA last won the League title in 2005, the year they also won the double by lifting the Overall crown, and 11 years later their head is finally above water in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League.
Coach Yahya Omar and his men have nine points after four matches, and top the standings by a single point over Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC).
However, double champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) have hit a dry patch, as first they lost the Charity Shield (2-1 to KLHC) and are now languishing in the middle of the table with only four points after four matches.
Yahya believes it all up to his players, as they have the fitness and skills, only the hunger for titles need to be challenged.
"If we play like we did against THT (won 2-0) where my players showed their hunger for victory, I believe we will finally lay our hands on a title this season.
"As for the League, we still have Tenaga Nasional to play before ending the first round. And then, we have five more matches to play with determination to realise our League dream," said Yahya.
Today, Sapura will play Division One outfit ATM Airod in the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup quarter-finals.
ATM Airod have played six matches, with only one win to show and are at the bottom of the standings.
"We should get past the quarter-finals, but the last-four is where we meet true challengers for the Alagendra Cup," said Yahya.
The Alagendra Cup's top match of the day will be between THT and KLHC at the Batu Buruk Stadium.
"We are in bad shape in the League because we missed too many penalty corner and field chances. The League title now looks like a toss between KLHC and Sapura, but the Alegandra Cup is stil within our reach and my players know what to do tomorrow (today)," said THT coach Sarjit Singh.
KLHC coach Harun Rashid said: "Our end game in the third quarter needs to be tightened as we lost many points during that period. The Alagendra Cup quarters will be tough, but not impossible."
TUESDAY: ALAGENDRA CUP -- Quarter-finals: Terengganu Hockey Team v Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (Batu Buruk, 5.30pm); Politeknik Malaysia v SSTMI (Taman Daya, 5pm); Sapura Hockey Club v ATM Airod (KLHA, 8pm); Universiti Kuala Lumpur v Tenaga Nasional Berhad (KLHA Stadium, 6pm).
P W D L F A Pts
SAPURA 4 3 0 1 9 6 9
KLHC 4 2 2 0 10 6 8
MAYBANK 4 2 0 2 8 11 6
THT 4 1 1 2 10 9 4
UNIKL 4 1 1 2 3 6 4
TENAGA 4 0 2 2 9 11 2