Sunday, 1 February 2015


So, we are finally here. What a start 2015 would be as Putrajaya will host the 1st leg of zone B. Playing on home ground, like the EPL will give some element of advantage. The Precinct 11 Dewan Serbaguna is a fully air-conditioned hall and quite a blizzard for those who come unprepared. That’s because apart from freezing temperatures, the draft flowing down from the spectators stand will disrupt the trajectory of the shuttle.  Even our players were struggling to contain the draft.    
This year in zone B, KL will join host Putrajaya together with Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and Terengganu to vie for top points over 2 legs. The top 8 highest points will be eligible to participate for the National Jr Grand Prix Finals. 
Aaron debut in the circuit
Now, on with the players preview. There are four clear run away favourites in zone B. Here is how they stack up.

Chia Jeng Hon, the 1st rank from Pahang is the no. 1 seed in the circuit. He is by far still the most skilful player with his leisurely-like stroke rallies unmatched by many. Aaron has lost to him twice before and will be daunting task to get past this great wall of Pahang in the semis.

With Coach Sidi
Liew Xuan, the top rank from Johor is no alien to the circuit. Don’t be fooled by his Yoda like physique but he is masterful in his badminton craft. His celeb-like status in Johor makes him one of the favourites in the circuit.
Derrick Eng is rank second in Johor and is the no. 2 seed in the circuit. He has a quite fair share of success in many private tournaments that I have seen. Certainly a player to watch out for as well. 

Yong Bing Yan, the first rank of Melaka is also a seasoned player in the circuit. Not a player to be taken likely.
The next tier of players to me, are all very closely stacked.

Lee Qi Hong, the first rank from KL has had a steep curve in his development over the past one year. He starts as ¾ seed in the circuit.
Choi Jian Sheng, the second rank from Pahang is another Jeng Hon in the making. Although he is a year younger but certainly not a player to be taken lightly with.

Ng Yaw Pin, the second rank from Melaka is a dark horse. He crept up the ranks rather quietly. Not seen him play yet but to me he is there.
U12 Doubles - surprise semi finalist
Looking at Aaron’s draw, his hurdle to the semi final was his third game against Melaka’s Vincent Fum whom Aaron had once lost to in the 2013 Setia Tournament. Otherwise, he had a favourable draw in the top half before meeting top seed in the semi final. The zone of death was really in the bottom half where all 5 players mentioned above were drawn together there.

Aaron opened his account against Negeri Sembilan’s Roslin Fozi whom Aaron had beaten twice before. So he had an untroubled first win.  His second match against Vincent Fum was tricky. For two weeks, both my wife and I had been studying him from the video shot 2 years ago. We knew Vincent was a skilful player with lots of dangerous chops but we noted he is not as fast as Aaron and succumbs to enforced errors. We devised a strategy to make him move around the court to force him out of position. The match was tense as Vincent was playing with the draft behind him took the first set. In the second set, he began to tire and Aaron snatched back the game to force a decider. In the rubber, Aaron was trailing up to mid point and when he switched court with the draft behind him, Aaron raced ahead and in the end the fitter Aaron took the match home.
With chief coach Sting
Our team was elated for little Aaron as he had a real chance to go all the way to the semi finals. His quarter final match was against his old friend from Melaka, Thaanesh Devar with Aaron having a  2 – 1 head to head advantage. It was always a close fight between the two but Aaron was confident he could take it to 3 – 1 here. Aaron took the match in straight games and we have now surpassed the target. Anything more from here on will be a bonus.

Aaron has never got past the Pahang ace from the past 2 games they had played. We knew Aaron would have a hard time matching the racquet craft of the top seed. However,  Aaron put on a spirited display and was stretched to the limit.  Finally he conceded to the better player.

His semi final feat here will definitely boost his seeding in the second leg in Melaka. Until then, there is still work to do.

BSU12 Winner - Liew Xuan (Jh), Runners Up - Chia Jeng Hon (Ph), Semifinalist : Aaron Wong (PJ) & Derrick Eng (Jh)

Round 1 :             Aaron Wong vs Bye

Round 2 :             Aaron Wong (PJ) vs Muhd Roslin Fozi (NS)                           21 – 14, 21 - 14

Round 3 :             Aaron Wong (PJ) vs Vincent Fum (MK)                                   16 – 21, 21 – 16, 21 – 18

Qtr Final :             Aaron Wong (PJ) vs Thaanesh Devar (MK)                            21 – 10, 21 – 16

Semi Final :         Aaron Wong (PJ) vs Chia Jeng Hon (PH 1)                              14 – 21, 15 – 21

BDU12 Winner : Chia Jeng Hon/Choi Jian Sheng (Ph), Runners Up : Justin Hoh/Lee Qi Hong (KL), Semifinalist : Aaron Wong/Tan Jie Yang (PJ) & Haris Sufian/ Ahmad Azamuddin (PJ)

1st Round :           Aaron /Jie Yang (PJ)  vs Bye

2nd Round :          Aaron /Jie Yang (PJ)  vs Tee Chian Ming/Ung Yi Hang (NS)             21 – 13, 21 – 17

Qtr Final :             Aaron /Jie Yang  (PJ) vs Muhd Hairul Azizi/Tiew Hen Zhuan (JH)  21 – 16, 21 – 15

Semi Final :         Aaron /Jie Yang (PJ) vs Justin Hoh/Lee Qi Hong (KL)         18 – 21, 21 – 18, 9 – 21

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