Resilient ready for BJSS
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