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Sunday, March 04, 2001

Football - Mazlan's patriot game

SUN: PATRIOTISM got the better of apprehension when Sarawak goalkeeper Mazlan Wahed decided to answer Malaysia's call in their hour of need for the World Cup qualifiers in Hong Kong starting today.

Now, the 34-year-old goalkeeper is on the brink of finding out if his decision to answer the 11th hour callup was right or wrong.

Mazlan, together with Mohamed Syamsuri Mustafa, were called up after coach Allan Harris sacked regular goalkeepers Kamarulzaman Hassan and Azmin Azram Aziz for breaking team rules last Monday.

"First and foremost, I would like to stress that I am not Kamarulzaman nor am I going to pretend to be him. He is a good goalkeeper and will be hard to replace but I am ready to face the challenge in Hong Kong," said Mazlan after a training session at the Siu Sai Wan ground yesterday.

"However, I assure the fans that I will give nothing less than my best tomorrow."

Mazlan is likely to be fielded for the match against Qatar today as he has a wealth of experience and is used to big match atmosphere as compared to Syamsuri.

Although there are bound to be comparisons drawn with Kamarulzaman, Mazlan is unperturbed.
"There is no pressure on me to emulate Kamarulzaman. As far as I am concerned, the pressure is only in wanting to play well."

The Malacca-born goalkeeper was in the midst of Sarawak's preparations for the FA Cup and had just returned from a playing tour of Australia when he received the call from Harris.

Like a true Malaysian, the need to serve the nation superseded all other considerations and the rest, as they say, is history.

Although many quarters have questioned the wisdom of selecting the veteran goalkeeper for the World Cup qualifiers, Mazlan is confident of holding his own and will rely on his years of experience with the national team in the mid-90s to see him through.

"I have no problems communicating with the rest of the players. Although some of them are new to me, I do not foresee any problems," said Mazlan.

"In fact, I have played with some before. Players like B. Rajnikandh, Abdul Ghani Malik and Rusdi Suparman were in the same squad with me a few years back."

Team morale is high and Mazlan expects all the players to pull their weight in the match against Qatar. Expect Mazlan to do no different.

(By S. Selvam)

Source: New Straits Times

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Golf - Mary to quit after KL Sea Games

SUN: GEMILANG 2001 golf trainee Mary Ting will quit the national team after the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games in September to pursue her studies abroad.

The 21-year-old golfer from Bintulu, Sarawak, is one of three national trainees left in the Gemilang team, the others being Koe Lai Yin and Nining Harris.

In January, top ranked Malaysian amateur Lim Ai Lian, the best bet for the individual gold medal in the KL Games, pulled out of the squad as she is pregnant.

"I have been playing too much golf since joining the Gemilang squad and is beginning to feel burnt out. That is why I have made my mind to quit after the KL Games," said Mary on the final day of Golf Malaysia's 'Champion of Champions' tournament at Saujana GCC.

Yesterday, Mary blew up with a 10-over 82 but her first round score of one-under 71 helped her win the women's title by seven strokes.

Her two-day total of nine-over 153 beat Datin Rahmah Arshad and Shoko Tsunematsu, who finished with 16-over 160 and 19-over 163 respectively.

In the men's category, Ian Quek Jui Meng pipped Sulaiman Osman by two strokes to win the title for the first time.

Quek, 42, a two-time Sabah Amateur Open champion, carded a three-over 75 yesterday for a two-day total of seven over 151.

Final rd scores _ Men: 151 Ian Quek Jui Meng 76-75; 153 Sulaiman Osman 79-74; 154 Jaafar Mohamed 77-77; 155 S.V. Lingam 75-80; 156 Zulkafali Ariffin 73-83; 157 Ichiro Suzuki 80-77.

Women: 153 Mary Ting 71-82; 160 Datin Rahmah Arshad 76-84; 163 Shoko Tsunematsu 83-80, Alyah Tan 84-79; 165 Angie Ng 84-81, Julia Katan 82-83.

SHAH Irwan Rusli and Johannis Abu Bakar stole the limelight from older and more experienced golfers to win the 3rd Andaman International Amateur Cup at Datai Golf Club at Andaman, Langkawi yesterday.

Shah Irwan, 22, who plans to turn pro soon, won the men's Nett division with a two-day total of three-under 141. He is attached to Royal Pahang GCC in Kuantan.

Mansor Idris and Yusuf Mohamed Shah were runnersup with two-day totals of 143 and 145 respectively.

Harvard GCC trainee Reduan Me bagged the gross title with a two-day total of 155.
However, the tournament is based on nett results as it is targetted at promoting golf to tourists and younger players.

In the women's section, 11-year-old Johannis Abu Bakar won with a two-day total of two-over 146.
The Standard Five student of SRK Shah Alam Seksyen 18, Selangor, was in fine form throughout the tournament and did well to upstage the older competitors.

Johanni is not new to competition, having won the Tuanku Ja'afar Under-20 title in Seremban, Negri Sembilan recently. Last December, she was the runnerup at the Singapore International junior championship.

Final rd scores (all nett) _ Men: 141 Shah Irwan Rusli; 143 Mansor Idris; 145 Yusuf Mohamed Shah; 146 Nazir Ahmad; 147 Mohamed Noor Ibrahim; 148 Khamis Sindot; 149 Yusri Ahmad Sharom, Mohamed Nasaruddin, Tony Francis; 151 Mohamed Asri Che Ani.

Women _ 146 Johannis Abu Bakar; 162 Ainon Abdul Aziz; 169 Morowski.

Men's gross: 155 Reduan Me 78-77; 157 Sobri Ramli 75-82; 164 Roshdy Ramli 86-78; 166 Rizam Ramli 88-78, Ooi Chin Kiang 88-78.

(By Glen Peters)

Source: New Straits Times

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Saturday, March 03, 2001

Tennis - Four Sarawakians make semi-finals

THREE girls and one boy from the Sarawak tennis team yesterday advanced into the semi-finals of the Milo National Junior Tennis Championship at the National Tennis Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Sarawak's Lindsay Woon, who is ranked third in the country, outplayed Dalila Hassan from Selangor 6-4, 7-6, 7-5 in the girls Under-16 to move into today's last four.

"Two of the players have a very good chance of making it into the finals," team manager Liew Meang told TribuneSport from Kuala Lumpur.

The duo are Mary Ngiam from Miri, who is playing in the girls Under-12, and Edric Lo, who is the only boy in the State team to have gone this far.

Mary beat Tinusha Sivaganan of Selangor 6-0, 6-1 in the quarter-finals to play Johor's Jeanaline San in the last four while Edric, who is playing in the boys Under-10, had an easy passage by beating teammate Razmi Rawi.

Edric won the first set 7-5 and was leading 4-0 in the second set before Razmi retired from the game.

Edric will be meeting Chua Tiong Hoey from Selangor, who easily beat the top seed in the group.

"Mary and Edric are both in good shape to enter the finals. Looking at the way they played yesterday, they have the chance to win medals for the team," said Liew Meang.

In the girls Under-10, Sarawak's Tan Kho Wee defeated Tooi Sei Minn from Selangor 6-4, 6-3 to face top seed Charmaine Tan, who is also from Selangor, in today's semi-finals.

Sarawak's girls Under-12 champion Michelle Liew was beaten in the quarter-final stage while the rest of her teammates could only managed the first round. The finals will be held tomorrow.

(By Scott Apoi)

Source: Sarawak Tribune

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Football - Chance for fans to meet the Crocs

SARAWAK football fans can meet their idols eye-to-eye at Kuching Waterfront today.

This meet-the-fans session is made possible through the efforts of the Sarawak Football Fans Club (SFFC).

SFFC president Haji Taufek Ghani yesterday said they were expecting over 5,000 fans to turn up at the event.

"The response is very encouraging and based on the feedbacks from the members, there shouldn't be any problem in attracting a big crowd," said Taufek.

"The idea of having such an event is to show support for the State team in the build-up to the new season. Lately, the turn-out in home matches had not been very encouraging and we hope by having such function we can attract more crowd to the stadium."

Some 1,000 posters of the Sarawak football team will be distributed to the fans today. And fans can approach the players to sign on the posters.

SFFC yesterday received the Sarawak team posters from the Sarawak Press Sdn. Bhd., which is sponsoring the posters for the event.

SFFC also encourage fans to join the "Sign The Sarawak Banner" project as a show of support for the Crocs.

Lea Sports Centre is sponsoring 50 Rossi miniature footballs for the players to affix their signatures which will be given to the lucky fans during the gathering.

(By Rintos Mail)

Source: Sarawak Tribune

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Basketball - League set to return

THE MALAYSIAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE (MBL) is set to make a comeback this year but it will not be held in Kuching.

Sarawak Basketball Association (SBA) secretary general Si Kiang Seng said that they were planning to bring the MBL to Sibu, Bintulu or Miri, if the league returned to Sarawak.

Kuching had hosted the MBL for three seasons in 1995, 1996 and 1997 and Si believes that it is only fair that the competition is held in other divisions.

"We look forward to the league, but this time we want it to be held in other divisions. From past experience, we noticed that the turn-outs in Kuching had not be encouraging and that is one of the reasons why we intend to have it in other divisions," said Si.

"However, it all depends on the commitment of the respective divisional associations. If they are willing to commit themselves why not give them the chance to host it."

Si said the SBA have lobbied to host one of the legs in Sarawak, but whether it would come to the state, it was all up to the main organiser.

For two years in 1998 and 1999, the MBL was held outside Sarawak.

The Malaysian Amateur Basketball Association (Maba) in their meeting last week had proposed to revive the premier national basketball league in the country after it was cancelled due to financial crisis and tight schedule last year.

This year's MBL is most likely to begin after September 17, after the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games.

Like the previous seasons, Maba will maintain the same number of teams and format of play.

The participating teams are Sarawak Hornbills, Perak Eagles, Penang Stallions, Selangor Dragons and Johor Tigers.

(By Rintos Mail)

Source: Sarawak Tribune

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Powerboat - Bruneian grabs the headlines

Brunei powerboat racer, Ismail bin Haji Kabon made headlines at the recent Malaysian Open Formula 3000 (F3000) powerboat championship at the Tebrau Straits, Johore when he scored the best time in the official practice.

Ismail who represented Siong Racing Team from Temburong recorded 10.51seconds in the 13 laps that even the top racer from Thailand Nithai Khungerg could only managed 10.57seconds.

However, in the final race Ismail has to be satisfied with the second placing with a time of 11.13seconds and took home RM7,000.

The manager of Siong Racing Team, Yii Tian Siong said that he was glad his team won the second place and also recorded the best time in the official practice.

"It helps to promote the capability of Bruneians in powerboat racing and I hope in future our team will participate in more international meets such as the F1 World Championship."

Yii would also like to thank Edmund Tun Jugah of Meligai Racing Team in Sibu, Sarawak for all his support and encouragement.

Meanwhile, Ismail hoped that the private and public sectors would give more support for powerboat racing in Brunei.

The F3000 Championship was participated by top racers from Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei and the event was held in conjunction with the UIM F1 Powerboat Championship organised by the Johore State Government and Oxycom Sdn Bhd.

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Friday, March 02, 2001

Football - ‘No room for indiscipline for Rhinos'

KOTA KINABALU: There is no room for indiscipline in professional soccer, so says Sabah team manager Osman Jamal.

Every Sabah Premier League and Reserve League player, as professionals, must take the cue from the recent sacking of three key national players from the Malaysian pre-World Cup squad.

State footballers must learn from the sacking of goalkeepers Kamarulzaman Hassan and Azmin Azram Abdul Aziz and striker Khalid Jamlus by coach Allan Harris for indiscipline.

When asked to comment on the sacking, Osman said he fully supported Allan's action.

He said Sabah players, especially those in the Premier League, must learn from this sacking and should know how to look after their health and abide the do's and don'ts so as to focus their concentration on their training.

"Sabah FA is spending a lot of money on the M-League preparations, and what happened in the national squad is a very good lesson for all of them to learn. They should maintain a good image of themselves," he said.

He said the FA would come down hard on players who are indiscplined and would not hesitate to even terminate their contracts if they continued with their bad habits.

The Football Association of Malaysia's (FAM) disciplinary committee will also be taking further action against the trio once the coach submits his report.

The sacked players admitted to staying out well after midnight at the Hard Rock Café in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 17. The coach did not hesitate to sack the trio even though the national squad was to leave for Hong Kong yesterday to play in the first leg of the Asian Group Three World Cup qualifiers.

Quoted by a national daily, FAM secretary general Datuk Deli Akbar Khan said on Wednesday that the three players would be hauled up before the disciplinary committee once the coach submits his report, in the presence of the committee's new chairman Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar.

He said, they view the matter seriously and for now, the trio is free to return to train with their respective State teams. He warned that there is no excuse for them. They were supposed to report for centralised training with the squad for the qualifying tournament beginning on Sunday.

"It makes no difference whether they were out on their day off because they were warned about it and they simply broke the rules," he said.

All the trainees in camp were told to focus on the Pre-World campaign, where Malaysia are drawn with Hong Kong, Qatar and Palestine.

Meanwhile, Sarawak players were also told to learn from the trio's sacking by the Sarawak Football Association deputy president Zaidi Khaldin Zaini on Tuesday.

(By Catherine Ong)

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Football - Watch live Crocs this Saturday

KUCHING Thurs. - Sarawak Football Fan Club (SFFC) will be holding a players-meet-the-fans session this Saturday.

According to its president Haji Taufik Ghani, the main purpose of holding the event is to introduce the state football team 2001 to the fans.

President of the Sarawak Football Association (FAS) Datuk Haji Taha Arrifin is expected to grace the session.

"Besides of having an opportunity to interact with the players, the fans who come for the meeting session would also able to sign on a banner to pledge their support for the team's quest for glory especially winning the Malaysia Cup," he added.

Haji Taufik also said that the fan club would use the opportunity to garner more support for the team and get more people to come to the stadium on match day.
"SFFC would also use the opportunity to remind the fans on the need to support the team through proper way and not by vandalising the stadium," he said.
The president further said that the fan club has made the necessary arrangement to hold not less than 8 activities during the session.

"As usual, there are going to be an autograph session and selling of souvenirs items ... however, the main attraction of the session is the distribution of 20 balls which are with all players' signatures to the lucky fans," he said. Haji Taufik also said that the fan club's Kompang Team will also be performing on that day.

"The players would also perform the team's song," he added.

During the session, the president of the fan club is expected to present the signed banner to the team manager.

Source: Borneo Post

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Thursday, March 01, 2001

Billiards meet closing date March 6

The closing date for entries for the National Snooker Pool and Billiards Championship has now been extended to March 6 at 12noon due to overwhelming response.

The championship to start on March 10 will be held at the SEA Games Snooker and Pool Parlour, Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

(By Azaraimy H Hasib)

Source: Borneo Bulletin

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Football - FAM sees red

PUTRAJAYA: Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah yesterday called for stern action against players he labelled as "big-headed" if they are found guilty of compromising discipline.

Tengku Abdullah said he would ask the FAM to study possible punishment against errant players, which should serve as a lesson to others who were interested in wearing the national jersey.

He said this when referring to national coach Allan Harris' decision in leaving out three players—goalkeepers Kamarulzaman Hassan, Azmin Azram Aziz and striker Khalid Jamlus from the pre-World Cup qualifying round for breach of discipline.

"I am very sad and fed-up with their (players) antics, if they are not interested in playing for the country...just say so, as there are many others who want to represent the country.

"If this (breach of discipline) really happens, then stern action without any compromise must be taken," he told Bernama in an interview here.

Harris gave Kamarulzaman, Azmin and Khalid the boot after the trio were reported to have been seen at Kuala Lumpur's Hard Rock Cafe in the wee hours of the morning, Feb 17.

The national side would leave for Hong Kong on Thursday to play in the first leg of the pre-World Cup qualifying round on March 4-11. Other countries in this group are Hong Kong, Qatar and Palestine.

The Hard Rock Cafe incident reignited the "Disco Six" fiasco when in 1995, six players – Azman Adnan, Zami Mohamed Noor, L. Suresh, Samsurin Abdul Rahman, Rizal Sukiman and Assroff Hanafiah – were given the sack from the national squad after they were found guilty of sneaking out from Wisma FAM in order to get to a disco.

"I am fed-up. We have experienced a similar episode some years back and this should be an example to the young looks as if they have become big-headed," said Tengku Abdullah.

He said such breach of discipline should be stopped through stern action as the "final warning" for those planning to don national colours otherwise it might recur forever.

"This can tarnish the reputation of other footballers...due to one bad apple the whole lot can be (seen as) rotten," he said.

Tengku Abdullah said the trio's action would affect the national squad's morale and preparations as they were among the key players of the Malaysian team.

He said the national team's strategies could have been wrecked as the trio were vital cogs in the side's engine what more with only a few days before they leave for Hong Kong.

"But what can we do now, things have happened," said an exasperated Tengku Abdullah. "We have tried our level best to form a formidable team for the pre-World Cup qualifier...we really give them support and encouragement and this is what we get in return?

"We have spent a lot of time and money for this preparation but they (the trio) have really disappoint their team-mates and country," he said.

Tengku Abdullah said right from the very first day of training camp he had reminded the players to be committed on and off the field.

When told that the three footballers should be given a chance to clear their names, Tengku Abdullah said they would be hauled by the FAM disciplinary Board.

However the FAM was not expected to be lenient in cases of indiscipline, he said.

"If leniency is given, then others would brush away this issue and would demand the same treatment if they happen to commit similar acts of indicipline," he said.

Tengku Abdullah said the FAM was not out to punish players but they should learnt from this episode.

He called on the state FAs to inject the spirit of patriotism among their players as what happened showed that the footballers had no pride in playing for the country.

Source: Daily Express

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