Saturday, September 3, 2016
Pic: Sapura's Joel Samul Van Huizen (left) challenges Tenaga's Nik Aiman Nik Rozemi for the ball during their TNBMHL 2016 Premier League match Friday. Sapura won 2-1.
SAPURA Hockey Club barely lead the Premier Division standings at midway, and coach Yahya Omar knows they can't afford to make any blunders in the remaining five matches.
Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) are biting the heels of Sapura, and it looks like double champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) have only an outside chance of defending their League title.
"It has been too long (11 years) since we last won any titles in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) and being at the top after five matces will not mean a thing is we fumble in the second round," said Yahya.
Yahya said its all in the hands of his players now.
"We have a very good team which is capable of winning any match that comes their way, but in the end, all the coaching and training will come to nothing if the players themselves do not have a strong desire to become champions," said Yahya.
Ironically, Sapura start the second round against Tenaga again today.
"All the teams will be pressuring us now that we are top of the standings, so I am glad my boys held on, on Friday. This win is very important for us, especially as Sunday's return leg is also against Tenaga because it raises our confidence," added Yahya who praised Tenaga's fighting spirit.
The other two matches today will also see the same fixtures as Friday, with KLHC playing Maybank and THT against UniKL to kick-start the second round.
In Division One, SSTMI and TNB Thunderbolts lead the charge into the quarter-finals with 12 points each after six matches. And in the women's MHL, SSTMI and Blue Warriors lead the semi-finals cast with 12 and 10 points after five matches.
TODAY: Premier Division -- Kuala Lumpur HC v Maybank (KLHA, 6pm), UniKL v Terengganu (KLHA, 8pm), Sapura v Tenaga (Tun Razak, 6pm).
ALAGENDRA CUP Semi-finals: Sept 6: Tenaga Nasional v Terengganu HT (KLHA,6pm), SSTMI v Sapura (SSTMI, 6pm).
P W D L F A Pts
SAPURA 5 4 0 1 11 7 12
KLHC 5 3 2 0 14 7 11
THT 5 2 1 2 13 10 7
MAYBANK 5 2 0 3 9 15 6
UNIKL 5 1 1 3 4 9 4
TENAGA 5 0 2 3 10 13 2