The absence of one superstar and the struggles of another didn’t stop SGS PLN from notching its second victory in the men’s division of the Djarum Badminton Super League.
The West Java club fought a back-and-forth tie with Jakarta side Tangkas, before former national team shuttler Tommy Sugiarto secured the 3-2 win at Surabaya’s DBL Arena on Monday.
SGS is considered the favorite to win the men’s title, but Tangkas immediately put a dent on its rival’s reputation when Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh beat world No. 2 Taufik Hidayat 21-15, 21-15 in the first match. “I wasn’t feeling well even before the game, and it carried over when I played against Nguyen. Not to take anything away from Nguyen. He played very well,” Taufik said.
The men’s pair of Hendri Kurniawan Saputra and Chayut Triyachart leveled the score with their 21-16, 21-17 victory over Gan Tek Chai and Tan Bin Shen.
Tangkas took the driver’s seat again when Simon Santoso beat Alamsyah Yunus 21-11, 21-15 in the second singles match.
The tie was knotted at 2-2 when Hendra Aprida Gunawan and Flandy Limpele claimed a 21-13, 21-18 win over Nova Widianto and Devin Lahardi Fitriawan, before Tommy’s 21-10, 21-12 rout of Ary Trisnanto sealed SGS’s second win in as many games.
SGS opened the Rp 1.3 billion competition with a 4-1 win over Mutiara Bandung on Sunday.
It has managed to stay among the leaders despite missing Lee Chong Wei’s services. SGS signed the world No. 1 from Malaysia for this week’s tournament but has yet to arrive in Surabaya.
“He is still competing in Malaysia right now, but he will join us this week,” said Taufik, who is also SGS’s vice chairman.
For Tangkas, it was its first defeat in three ties after winning 4-1 over Musica and 5-0 over Jaya Raya Jakarta on Sunday.
Despite Monday’s loss, Tangkas still leads the men’s table, followed by SGS.
In another men’s tie, Djarum fell to a second straight defeat as itlost 3-2 to Musica Champions.
Djarum’s woes continued in the women’s division, when it fell 3-2 to Mutiara Bandung.
Cheng Shao-chieh gave Mutiara the first point with her 17-21, 21-17, 21-15 win over Maria Febe Kusumastuti. But Djarum turned the tables by racking two consecutive wins courtesy of Meiliana Jauhari and Komala Dewi, who beat Tiara Rosalia and Geby Ristiani 22-20, 21-15, and Fransiska Ratnasari, a 21-12, 21-13 winner over Chiang Pei Shin.
Suci Rizki Andini and Dwi Agustiawati leveled the score for Mutiara with a 21-13, 9-21, 21-14 defeat of Shendy Puspa Irawati and Jenna Gozali, before Hera Desiana secured Mutiara’s victory with 17-21, 21-19, 21-19 win over Febby Angguni.
The top four in each of the men’s and women’s divisions will advance to the semifinals.