Bandar Utama (BU) Dragons BC will be banking on experienced players to spur their SS Purple League 2016/17 title bid when Stage 2 of the SSPL 2016/17 commences early next month at the Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands.
After successfully securing a second place finish in the round robin stage of their debut SSPL season, BU Dragons will be going into the knockout rounds in buoyant form. They have also vowed to bring their strongest line-up to Genting.
According to BU Dragons’ head coach Tan Bin Shen, having the likes of Indonesian powerhouse Markis Kido, Hong Kong international Wei Nan, one half of the World No. 1 men’s doubles Tan Wee Kiong and many more is the key to the club’s title chase as they are all equipped with championship experience and winning mentality.
“As of now, we have received confirmation that Tan Wee Kiong, Wei Nan, and Markis Kido will be with us for the Genting leg. So, relying on their experience, we hope it helps us reach the final,” said Bin Shen, when contacted.
“We are still searching for fresh faces from the BAM setup that will be available early February to further improve the club’s chances of capturing the SSPL title. Since the transfer window has ended, we should be able to finalize our full team list soon,” added Bin Shen.
The coach remains focused on leading his team into the final despite facing the prospect of playing either one of the Petaling teams in the semi-final. However, he is more concerned about his team rather than the threats posed by their potential opponents.
"For me, the important thing is that we need to work out our strategies well in the knockout stages because of the 11 points system and the weather in Genting Highlands which is somewhat erratic and makes the situation unpredictable, "said the former national player.
“Since the transfer window reopened, we are very much unsure as to the strengths of our opponents, though I have a gut feeling that we might meet Petaling BC in the semis since they have quality players such as Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei,” added Bin Shen.
BU Dragons qualified automatically into the semi-finals of the SSPL 2016/17 Stage 2 as a result of securing second place – same goes to Johor side, Muar BC, who finished top of the league.
The top 6 teams in the league will be battling it out in Stage 2 to be crowned the SSPL 2016/17 champion, which will take place from the 9th to 12th of February in Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands. The bottom four teams will be competing in order to determine the 7th to 10th placing in the league.