Saturday, 30 July 2016

Double shocker for volleyball players and fans

July 30, 2016

Sarawak women’s team at the medal presentation with Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Hamzah (centre) and officials.
SIBU: Sarawak’s bid to lift the two volleyball gold medals evaporated after both the men’s and women’s team faltered in the final showdown at Sibu Volleyball Association Indoor Stadium at Rejang Park yesterday afternoon.

The women’s team lost to Pahang 1-3 (25-18, 25-27, 23-25, 21-25) while the men’s were beaten by defending champion Selangor in straight sets (20-25, 22-25, 23-25).

About 4,000 people, young and old, jam-packed the stadium hoping to provide the much-needed booster to the Sarawak teams.

Unfortunately, both teams failed to capitalise on the home ground support and also the deafening roar from the local fans.

Sarawak women’s head coach Dato Moh Wung Ming as well as the men’s coach Philip Teo were both lost for words after the devastating and heart-breaking losses.

“We are so close to the gold medal and yet so far. Still, I would say it was a tough fight and my congratulations to the winning teams,” Moh said.

The Sarawak girls were the first to fall to the taller and fitter Pahang team.

Riding on the huge crowd support, Sarawak took the first set with ease as they spiked their way to an easy 25-18 victory over the east coast state.

Sarawak, 10 out of 12 times Sukma gold medallists, fumbled towards the end of the second set. Leading 23-20, all they need was another three points to finish off Pahang.

But Pahang refused to be intimidated and crawled back from the dead to take the set at 27-25. The unexpected loss could have stunned the home team and demoralised the players and it was evident when they lost the third set at 23-25.

In the fourth set, the girls rallied to an early lead at 8-2 but somehow, it was just not their day when they lost at 21-25.

Sarawak men then took over the court, hoping to erase the disappointment of the earlier match.

However, it was not to be.

The Selangor players were simply too hot to handle and proved to be the better team as Sarawak players obviously lack the power and the skills to match.

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