Thursday, December 4, 2014

UniKL aim to tame Tigers..

HIGH-FLYING UniKL will tread with caution when they face wounded Maybank Tigers in the knock-out stage of the TNB Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.
  The other Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division knock out will be between Tenaga Nasional and Sapura.
  The top-two teams Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) rest at the sidelines as their semi-final opponents battle it out this weekend as winners of the UniKL-Maybank match will meet THT, while KLHC awaits the winners of the Sapura-TNB knock-out.
  Even though entering the crucial stage at the back of a 5-1 win over KLHC, UniKL have their feet rooted on the ground: "We're very happy with the high note 5-1 win over KLHC, but we know the knock-out is a different game all together.  "Maybank is well known for doing well in the knock-out stages in previous seasons, and being winless (five draws) this season, the Tigers will definitely be out to make an impact as well,” say UniKL Hockey president Amir Azhar Ibrahim.
  For the record, UniKL and Maybank played to 1-1 and 0-0 draws in the League.
  UniKL coach Arul Selvaraj said they want to play in the semi-finals: We have continued to improve as a team and are finally getting the results we deserve. That result against KLHC will serve as a strong motivation for us,” he said.
   Arul, who is a former Maybank player, said he is well aware of what they are capable of.
   “They have talented players such like Shakeel Abassi (Pakistan) and Jiwa Mohan. I also know that Maybank are extremely thorough when it comes to preparing for big games like this. But instead of focusing on our opponents, I would much rather focus on my team and ensure that we give a good performance. That is how I have approached all of our previous games”, said Arul.
  In the other knock-out, Tenaga coach Nor Saiful Zaini said finishing third in the League was a disappointment they want to erase in the TNB Cup.
  “Our goal was to at least finish in second place. But unfortunately that did not happen and now we must do our best to book a place in the final of the TNB Cup. It won’t be easy as every team will be battling hard to progress to the next round,” said Nor Saiful.
  For the record, Tenaga hold a 1-0 and 2-0 win record over Sapura.
  FIXTURES: Today: UniKL v Maybank (6pm, Pitch II ); Tenaga v Sapura (8pm, Pitch II).
  Sunday: Maybank v UniKL (8pm, Pitch II ); Sapura v Tenaga (6pm, Pitch II).


Hockey 5s gets a boost..

High 5s (from left) Selangor HA Secretary General P. Kuganeson, Nestle Products sports marketing manager Ng Ping Loong, MHC vice-president S. Shamala, Selangor HA president Datuk Sri Subahan Kamal.

THE introduction of Hockey 5s, which made its debut at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics, could just be the answer to nurturing a bigger pool of players in the country.
  With this in mind, the Unity Hockey 5s will be held for the second year running at the Ministry of Education pitch in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 13.
  There will be a total of 10 Under-16 teams in both the boys' and girls' categories with seven players in each team.
   Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) senior vice-president S. Shamala believes said the five-a side tournament could complement the 11-a-side games in terms of supplying talent to junior and senior teams.
  And the Selangor Hockey Association (SHA) has already given its assurance they would organise at least one tournament next year while the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have discussed the format of play for starters.
  "Hockey 5s has the potential to emulate what futsal has done for football... more people are playing the sport," said Shamala after launching Unity Hockey 5s one-day competition at Wisma OCM.
  "The format is more exciting because of it's fast nature. Furthermore, it's easier to put up a team for the 5s as it requires less players.
   "We (MHC) have discussed the format and I believe its prominence would be reflected in the 2015 calendar as we need to do more research and development and have more seminars, especially for coaching and umpiring," she said.
  The 5s was first introduced at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics, and is being promoted by University Putra Malaysia (UPM), Selangor HA, Milo and Sports Unite.
  Teams will play two six-minute halves with a one minute break at halftime. Scoring is allowed from anywhere in the pitch and one-on-one challenge replaces the penalty corners.   

Irish power for Malaysian Open

IRISHMEN Graeme McDowell and Paul McGinley are the latest attraction to confirm for the Maybank Malaysian Open on Feb 5-8 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
   They will join a stellar cast of 156 players from the Asian Tour and European Tour for a shot at the prestigious title.
  One of the finest shot-makers in the game, McDowell is a name that is recognised worldwide when he upstaged Tiger Woods in the 2010 Chevron World Challenge.
  He also successfully defended his title at the Alstom Open de France in June, where he overcame Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, a former two-time Malaysian Open winner, and American Kevin Stadler by a single stroke, which saw him reach 10 European Tour wins.
  Having played an integral part in three European Ryder Cup-winning teams, McDowell knows a thing or two about converting putts when it matters.
   A Ryder Cup legend, McGinley needs little introduction to local golf fans after his iconic leadership of Team Europe in Scotland.
   With nine worldwide victories to his name, including four on the European Tour, McGinley will bring his personal charisma and tireless work ethics to the fore at KLGCC.
  “Next year, as we celebrate the 10th year as title sponsor of the Malaysian Open, we continue with the tradition of bringing a selection of golfing personalities to Malaysia. McDowell and McGinley, fresh from recent victories and with charisma attracting a huge worldwide following as they display consistently high standards of sportsmanship, integrity and grit; offering fans exciting and competitive golf every time,” said Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Nor, Chairman of Maybank
   “We are proud of our role in the Maybank Malaysian Open, showcasing a world class tournament steeped in Malaysian history. Its schedule, in the early part of the professional season, has produced surprising winners, young and not so young, and I expect this next version to yield similar excitement and outcomes.”
   The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) reinforced the critical role that the tournament has played in expanding the reach of the game at a professional level in the country as well.
   “The Maybank Malaysian Open represents a consistent and considerable investment towards the development of the Malaysian golfing scene with the largest allocation of playing spots to top local professionals and amateurs who want to participate in the tournament," said MGA president Admiral (R) Tan Sri Anwar Mohd Nor.