Sunday, 17 August 2014


L to R : Edmund, Ryan, Hanson & Brandon rep

Flex Pro August schedule was for U12, U13 & U14. Both boys were registered under U12.  However,  I noted quite a number of players participated in two age categories – the second being a higher age category. The group format competition presents an ideal opportunity for these players to spar with worthy opponents inexpensively ie. RM15 with a minimum of 3 games per group. If they qualify for the knock-out stage and thereafter, that will be bonus.
Aaron was bundled up in group A with some notable players.  Aaron started off against Edmund On - a Selangor circuit player and I knew he would be too high a hurdle for him. As expected, he could not match Edmund’s racquet trickery and took a heavy beating,  11 – 30.

His second match with Ting Wen Xuan was a reprisal because Aaron had beaten him before but that was last year. Will Wen Xuan get his revenge this time? Aaron took the early lead but Ting caught up and led during the break. Aaron stayed closely behind as both fought point for point. At one point Ting almost got away as he opened a 4 point lead but somehow Aaron managed to dig deep and came back. Towards the end, Ting committed a few unforced errors and handed the game to Aaron 30 -29.
In the third group match, Hadrian Soh was also no stranger to Aaron. For the record, they have met once or twice before but Aaron has not lost to him yet.  This was also a closely contested match. Aaron took the lead during the break but towards the last third, Hadrian led Aaron. Again Aaron managed to find his way back and took the game back 30 – 28.

Being a parent having to endure games like these were truly not for the faint hearted. It took me a while to recover my pulse back down to a sane level.  This time around, only the group leaders qualify for semi-final. Aaron was one game short because Edmund won all 3 games. Thus Aaron’s U12 campaign ended but not without a good show.
Ryan’s group B was more forgiving. He started off against Chakrit. Although he led Chakrit comfortably 2/3 of the game and was almost home and dry, unexpectedly he lost his way in the final third. Five consecutive errors from Ryan saw Chakrit burst through the finishing line and left Ryan bewildered. I confronted him but he could not explain his performance. He was playing too cautiously with his hand brakes on.

The second match was against Soo Zhi Ying, a girl. I sat a court away in the hope that he will play better without my presence. Fortunately for him, she was not a match for the group.
Final : Edmund & Ryan
His final group match was with Chong Hao Wei whom he had a rousing match beating Chakrit earlier. We knew Ryan stood a chance to top the group if he beat him. Hao Wei was tall and he smashes a lot but he has a notable weakness. He was crutching his chest and was short of breath. I pointed to Ryan that he was in better shape and to take advantage of Hao Wei’s lack of fitness. Hao Wei played right into Ryan’s game, rallying front and back of the court, Hao Wei was made to run and in the end, he was a spent force.

Although both Chakrit and Ryan had 2 wins each, the good news was Ryan had two points more and therefore qualified for the semi finals the next day. He was really upbeat about the competition because he did not expect to come so far. The next morning, Ryan unexpectedly had a fever. However, he was determined to play. So we gave him a dose of paracetamol to suppress his fever. He took on a 9-year old Hanson Low and won his semi-finals in straight sets to meet Edmund On in the final. Although the final was a foregone conclusion, but Ryan played with a lion heart under less than ideal physical condition. He took home a silver medal, a Flex Pro shirt and a certificate. His job was done and he slept for the rest of the day.

Group A
1st Game – Aaron vs  Edmund On                              11 – 30
2nd Game – Aaron vs Ting Wen Xuan                        30 – 29
3rd Game – Aaron vs Hadrian Soh                              30 – 28

Group B
1st Game – Ryan vs Chakrit                                           25 – 30
2nd Game – Ryan vs Soo Zhi Ying (f)                            30 – 10
3rd Game – Ryan vs Chong Hao Wei                            30 – 14
Semi-Final – Ryan vs  Hanson Low                               21 – 11, 21 – 9
Final – Ryan vs Edmund On                                          13 – 21, 9 – 21

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