MALAYSIA Tigers’ hopes of becoming the first foreign team to win the Djarum Superliga was dashed by Musica Champion who prevailed with a 3-2 victory in the final in Surabaya yesterday.
Tigers had beaten Musica Champions with the same margin in the group stage on Monday but the hosts held their nerves to secure the title after a five-hour battle.
Musica were heading for an easy victory after securing the first singles through Tommy Sugiarto who defeated Liew Daren 11-21, 21-14, 21-16.
Rian Sukmawan-Rendra Wijaya pressed the advantage when they beat Tan Wee Kiong-Hoon Thien How 16-21, 21-19, 21-11 but Chong Wei Feng ensured Tigers were not ready to bow out without a fight.
Wei Feng defeated former South Korea No 1 Lee Hyun Il 21-15, 21-19 with second doubles Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah levelled the scores after beating Fran Kurniawan-Hadi Saputra 22-20, 21-19.
It was left to Arif Latif to complete a brilliant comeback for Tigers but found Taiwan’s Chou Tien Chen too strong as the former suffered a 21-18, 21-19 defeat.
While the Tigers failed, it was Lee Chong Wei’s second consecutive success in the Djarum Superliga as he is one of the foreign players in the Musica Champion squad.
However, Chong Wei only played in two ties before returning home on Tuesday.
Chong Wei also helped Bandung club SGS PLN, which was led by Taufik Hidayat, to win the Djarum Superliga in 2011.