Nervous Malaysia Pull Through


Norshahruddin, 26, was deadly with his kills though there were times when the Malaysian captain was frustrated by the US blocks in the 44-minute match.
Server Aizat, 22, finally found his footing in the third game but the Americans, who paid their own way to India and are without a coach and reserves, did not help themselves with six errors.
"There are areas we still need to improve on like serving, back-balls and blocking. But for our first match here, it was not too bad," said coach Nordin Sabaruddin.
"The players struggled to adjust to the court which was very bouncy. This is the first time they have ever played on a court set up on a stage rather than on hard courts.
"We will have to get used to it but all the teams are in the same situation. I'm confident we will improve as we go along because we want to make the final and hope to challenge Thailand."
The Malaysians are coming off a chastening defeat by Myanmar in the Four Nations invitational team championship in Kuala Lumpur last month.
But neither Norshahruddin nor reserve tekong Izurin Refin, 22, played in that tournament while Aizat was in the sole winning regu, so the scars of that defeat were not too evident here.
"That tournament was the first time I was really able to get to know the players," said Nordin, who was only hired in May.
"Some did not play as they were away in Thailand and it was only after Hari Raya that we began preparing for this tournament.
"Two or three weeks of preparation is not enough. We still have a lot of work to do."
Malaysia play Iran today in their last preliminary match, which should be another formality, before meeting either India or Singapore in tomorrow's quarter-finals.
India staged a remarkable comeback from two sets down while saving a match point in the fourth to stun Singapore in five sets in Group D, which only has two teams, who meet again today.
The men's event was reduced to 10 teams following Myanmar's late withdrawal after logistical problems prevented their departure from Yangon, leaving just Thailand and Japan in Group A with the two teams now playing each other twice.
RESULTS: Men -- Group B: Malaysia bt United States 15-9, 15-9, 15-4; Group C: South Korea bt Brunei 15-6, 15-10, 15-6; Group D: India bt Singapore 14-16, 11-15, 15-9, 18-16, 15-7.
Women -- Group A: Indonesia bt South Korea 15-4, 15-11, 15-9; Indonesia bt India 15-10, 15-10, 15-8; Group B: Thailand bt Japan 15-3, 15-4, 15-10. By Devinder Singh.

*Sumber Dari New Straits Times

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