Reversing their fortunes of three weeks prior, Wolves' duo Oliver Leydon-Davis and Roanne Apalisok were strong as they recorded an early victory. The win highlighted the ever-growing stature of Apalisok within the Wolves team, with her knack of stepping up during tight matches.
Ready to pounce, the class of Edward Lau and Sally Fu was on full show, as they notched a pair of quick singles victories. With the pendulum of momentum swinging the Tigers way, Jonathan Curtin and Dacmen Vong produced their best performance of their LearnCoach NZBL season. Holding their nerve, the pair fought from behind to move the Tigers to the cusp of victory.
Standing in their way was the unbeaten women's doubles pair of Anona Pak and Apalisok. Barely putting a foot wrong, they ensured that the tie would head towards an exciting climax with a convincing win.
Back on court moments later, Pak, and mixed doubles partner Josh Feng, produced a masterclass as they won the first game 11-4. Not to be outdone, Tigers' pair Vong and Janice Jiang put on a strong attacking sequence to move the Tigers within a game of victory. In a see-sawing final game Pak’s tactical nous shone through. Post-match, she highlighted the trust between the Feng and herself as the key to tonight’s success.
Much to the delight of spectators, the 3-3 draw sent the tie into a Golden Game, with coaches Henry Tam and Fanny Megahwati eliminating events, until only men’s doubles remained. Showing confidence in their original combinations, an unchanged men's doubles lineup took to the court for the decider. With both pairs matching each other point for point through the early stages, it was Curtin and Vong who edged ahead and seized the moment to clinch the Golden Game, and two valuable competition points.
The win moves the Tigers into first position with a finals berth all but assured. Meanwhile the Wolves will need to regroup quickly in a do-or-die clash with the Huawei Dragons next Wednesday.
The Crystal Ashley MVP was Roanne Apalisok of OnePure Wolves.
Full Match Details: Tiger Brokers Tigers vs. OnePure Wolves