Pic: National defender Baljit Singh playing for UniKL.
THE top-two teams in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) face a deciding weekend to claim the League title which is expected to go to the wire.
Charity Shield holders Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and double champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) are tied on 30 points after 12 matches, and THT only lead the standings on goals -- all 20 of them.
Friday, THT must beat Maybank while KLHA are in the same boat against Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) -- for a final face-off on Sunday for the title.
Both teams can't afford any slip-ups as Maybank and UniKL have had a yo-yo season by losing to weaker sides, but holding or beating better teams.
"I am preparing the team for the Maybank match tomorrow (Friday) and even though they are fifth (with five wins and one draw from 12 matches) they have shown their abilities by beating UniKL (4-1 on Wednesday).
"We can't afford to lose any points, if we want to defend our title on Sunday against KLHA," said THT coach Sarjit Singh.
Maybank were hammered 7-3 by schoolboys TNB Thunderbolts, but they also have a 2-2 draw against Tenaga Nasional and the win against UniKL to indicate that teams can't take them lightly.
KLHC must also win against another erratic team UniKL to challenge for the title.
"As I said before, I believe the title will be won at the last day of the League and its heading towards that provided we keep our heads over water against UniKL tomorrow (Friday)," said KLHC team manager Ahmad Anuar Sham.
Meanwhile, Oman and Egypt will train in Malaysia for the World League Round Two in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on March 4-12 -- Reports S.S. Dhaliwal.
They are expected to arrive by Feb 19, and train in Malaysia until March 1 before heading for Dhaka.
Malaysia, Fiji, Oman and Bangladesh are in Group A while China, Egypt, Fiji and Sri Lanka are in Group B. The finalists will play in the World League Semifinals which is a Qualifier for the 2018 World Cup in India.
FRIDAY: Terengganu HT v Maybank (Malacca, 5pm), UniKL v Kuala Lumpur HC (KLHA, 6pm), Tenaga v SSTMI (KLHA, 8pm), TNB Thunderbolts v SSTMI (SSTMI, 5pm).
SUNDAY: Tenaga Nasional v UniKL (KLHA, 6pm), Kuala Lumpur HC v Terengganu HT (KLHA, 8pm), SSTMI v TNB Thunderbolts (SSTMI, 5pm), Maybank v UiTM-KPT (Malacca, 6pm).
P W D L F A Pts
T'GGANU HT 12 9 3 0 66 9 30
KLHC 12 9 3 0 55 18 30
UNIKL 12 7 2 3 34 16 23
TENAGA 12 6 4 2 35 19 22
MAYBANK 12 5 1 6 27 33 16
THUNDERBOLTS 12 3 1 8 20 42 10
UITM-KPT 12 0 2 10 15 64 2
SSTMI 12 0 2 10 7 58 2