Kuala Lumpur: The battles were intense at Purple League on Saturday where 3 victories were decided by only a single point.
Nusajaya and Bangsar Hawks, the two teams that have stumbled out of the Purple League postseason competition, unexpectedly raised their level of play on Saturday to have the audience absolutely exciting from the start.
Cheam June Wei of Nusajaya played a miserable first men’s singles match where he fell to Zulfadli Zulkifli of Bangsar Hawks 10-11, 6-11, 1-11. World number 27 women’s shuttler from Hong Kong, Yip Pui Yin was steadily closing the gap after she beat Thinaah. M 9-11, 11-8, 10-11, 11-10, 11-4 to bring Nusajaya at 3-5.
Chan Ren Cong/Kuan Beng Hong shrugged off their frequent mistakes, bounced back from 2-set deficits to keep hopes alive for Nusajaya when they pulled off a five-set victory over Aaron Chia Teng Fong/Nik Ahmad Afzar Bin Nik Mazlan in the first men’s doubles match. The pairing of Chang Hun Pin/Lai Chia Wen gave Nusajaya a 9-7 lead when they beat Loh Kean Hean/Tan Wei Han in the mixed doubles match, but Bangsar Hawks retook the lead heading into the final match when Sathiestharan Ramachandran dispatched Chong Yee Han of Nusajaya 3-0.
With the game on the line, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) players Hoon Thien How/Lim Khim Wah then stepped up to battle past Cheah Liek Hou/Loh Kean Yew 11-7,10-11,11-7,11-10 to ultimately gave Nusajaya a 12-11 one point victory over Bangsar Hawks.
Two other Purple League ties that were held on Saturday were also embroiled in a neck-and-neck battle. Despite a good start by Kento Momota against Serdang BC, Kajang BC couldn’t overcome challenges from Serdang as they went down 11-12. Meanwhile, Petaling BC that spearheaded by Japanese badminton star Kenichi Tago also suffered a crushing defeat when their sudden collapsed of the last three matches handed Ampang Jaya BC a came from behind 13-12 victory.
Purple League explained on Saturday that the 17 wins it had stripped from Muar City was associated with violation of its rules and regulations. According to the rules, based on BWF world rankings as of August 7th 2014, each team only allowed to register less than three players that were ranked top 32 in the world, and 4 to 6 players that were ranked between world 33rd to 64th. Muar City that signed Lee Hyun-il, Tai Tzu-Ying and other top players have clearly violated the provisions.