Re­silient ready for BJSS

New Straits Times - - Sport -

SABAH Sports School (SSMS Re­silient) are not afraid of fac­ing 2016 Ju­nior Hockey League (JHL) Over­all cham­pi­ons Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) Thun­der­bolts in the TNB Cup quar­ter­fi­nals to­day.

SSMS Re­silient emerged as Di­vi­sion Two League cham­pi­ons with­out drop­ping a sin­gle point in six matches, and then won the Over­all ti­tle by beat­ing SSTMI Ju­niors 3-1 in the fi­nal.

Re­silient coach Sharil Izam knows that his charges will most likely face an up­hill bat­tle against BJSS Thun­der­bolts, but he is the least wor­ried.

“MY play­ers have yet to lose a match in Di­vi­sion Two, but that does not mean we are a very strong side. The quar­ter-fi­nals will be a real chal­lenge as we will be play­ing against a team who are of a higher stan­dard — but we are not afraid of them and are up to the chal­lenge,” said Sharil.

In the six league matches, Re­silient scored 45 goals and con­ceded 11. In the Over­all knock­out, they beat MBMB War­riors and PHA-USM and then knocked out SSTMI Ju­niors with ease.

The player to watch is Muha­jir Abdu Rauf, who top-scored in Di­vi­sion Two with 19 goals — 15 from open play, one penalty cor­ner and three penalty strokes.

“We drafted four play­ers from the re­cent Un­der-16 tour­na­ment into the JHL side, and they have not dis­ap­pointed,” said Sharil, who has been coach­ing the side for the last five years.

“This team have been to­gether for five years and have started to show some prom­ise. We were un­lucky in the Un­der-16 (fourth place fin­ish), but showed good form in the JHL to gain pro­mo­tion into Di­vi­sion One next sea­son.

“So even though BJSS are the rag­ing favourites, we have noth­ing to lose and will fight to qual­ify for the semi-fi­nals,” said Sharil.

BJSS, on the other hand, en­dured a tough sea­son in Di­vi­sion One, fin­ish­ing third.

The BJSS play­ers to watch are Amirul Mirza (10 goals) and Ram­dan Arifin (eight) — the sec­ond and third top-scor­ers.

TO­DAY — Di­vi­sion One, Q-fi­nals: PJCC Tigers v An­der­son Thun­der­bolts (Pan­dama­ran Sta­dium, 5pm), MSP-Thun­der­bolts v SSTMI Ju­niors (Kuan­tan, 5pm), SSTMI Thun­der­bolts v Johor Ju­niors (SSTMI, 5pm), BJSS Thun­der­bolts v SSMS Re­silient (KLHA, 5pm). Jug­jet Singh

Muha­jir Abdu Rauf

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