Defending champs Indonesia to face Malaysia in the men's team final
Malaysia will meet defending champions Indonesia in the men's team final in the Badminton Asia Manila Team Championships on Sunday after defeating Japan and India by 3-0 and 3-2 margins respectively in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Indonesia had a scare before clinching the winner through their top men's doubles pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. The world No 1 defeated India's scratch pair Lakshya Sen-Chirag Shetty 21-6, 21-13 in a quick 24 minutes.
The score was tied at 2-2 after Anthony Ginting (singles) and Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (doubles) won their matches against B. Sai Praneeth and M.R. Arjun-Dhruv Kapila respectively.
Indonesia's Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie and Shesar Hiren Rhustavito lost their singles matches to Lakshya Sen and Subhankar Dey.
For Malaysia, Cheam June Wei once again stood tall as he gunned down Kenta Nishimoto 21-19, 3-21, 21-12 in the second singles to power Malaysia into the men's team final with a 3-0 win over Japan in the semi-finals on Saturday.
It was Malaysia's day at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila as nobody gave the young Malaysian team to come this far but plenty of trusts, guts, and determination took the team to be in the final.
Lee Zii Jia was also taken the distance in the first singles but he was still good as he powered to a 21-11, 8-21, 21-11 win over Kanta Tsuneyama in 52 minutes. The morale-boosting first point was needed to get things to swing Malaysia's way.
Top national doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik demolished Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi 21-18, 21-15 before June Wei turned hero with the winning point with unassailable 3-0 lead.
''This is my biggest win and biggest for the team in a major tournament,'' said June Wei, who had lost to Nishimoto in the Thailand Masters recently.
''Ít is great to be part of the team and help the country reach the final. This is motivating for the team as a whole.
Team manager Wong Choong Hann delighted with the team reaching the final reminded that Japan came with an under-strength team but "credit should not be taken away from this team for what it achieved in Manila''.
MALAYSIA 3 JAPAN 0
MS1: Lee Zii Jia beat Kanta Tsuneyama 21-11, 8-21, 21-11
MD1: Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik beat Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi 21-18, 21-15
MS2: Cheam June Wei beat Kenta Nishimoto 21-19, 3-21, 21-12
INDONESIA 3 INDIA 2
MS1: Anthony Ginting beat B. Sai Praneeth 21-6 (rtd)
MS2: Jonatan Christie lost to Lakshya Sen 18-21, 20-22
MD2: Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan beat M.R. Arjun-Dhruv Kapila 21-10, 14-21, 23-21
MS3: Shesar Hiren Rhustavito lost to Subhankar Dey 17-21, 15-21
MD1: Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo beat Lakshya Sen-Chira Shetty 21-6, 21-13