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Games kick off with hockey

7th December, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: Hockey will get the Eighth Sabah Games or popularly known as Saga rolling with seven matches to be played on the opening day of the competition that will be happening at the Sandakan Sports Complex hockey pitch from today.

This time around, a total of 15 teams, seven men and women, will be in the fray.

Sabah Hockey Association secretary Avtar Singh said the preliminary round of the competition will be played based on a one-group round robin format.

At the end of the group stage, the top two teams will play in a gold medal match, while the third and fourth-placed teams would be involved in a bronze medal tie.

The finals will be played on the final day of the Games on Dec 15.

“Since we will be using only one field, matches will be played in two sessions, morning and afternoon. “The morning session will start as early as 6am,” said Avtar.

The competing teams in the men’s categories are hosts Sandakan, Keningau, Lahad Datu, Papar, Beaufort, Kota Belud and Kota Kinabalu.

In the women’s category, the eight competing teams are Keningau, Tawau, Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran, Beaufort, Kota Belud, Sandakan and Telupid.

For the record, Keningau are the defending champions for both categories. Today, the morning session will involve the women’s teams where Kota Belud will take on Tawau in the first tie of the competition that has been slated for 6am.

The second match between Beaufort and Kota Kinabalu will start at 7.15am while the Tuaran-Keningau tie has been set for 8.30am before Sandakan and Telupid complete the morning fixtures at 9.45am.

In the afternoon session, three matches will be played involving the men’s teams.

Kota Belud will face Keningau at 2pm followed by the Beaufort-Lahad Datu tie at 3.15pm. Papar and Sandakan would conclude the first day fixtures with their 4.30pm date. – FRANCIS XAVIER

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