Having played MY-NPL in Melaka the week before- most of us rocked up to MPOC 2 in KL with sore bodies. It was similar situation to playing PALS Pattaya right after playing in the SSC Cup in Kuching the week before. Melaka was a great warm up for us – better than a practice weekend. In fact the only practice we had going to Melaka was with Spyder Mech markers and I just drilled the team with NPPL style break outs where the markers had to come up form below our waistline.
MPOC 2 was a nice quick weekend for us. We played 5 matches on Sat morning and were finished by lunch time. That gave the team the whole Sat afternoon off to relax and most of the guys went back to the hotel and slept. I stayed on and helped out with XFox. With the Sat afternoon off- that meant the final four teams were well rested for the Semi finals on Sunday. The 11am start was also greatly appreciated- it meant we could get up and have breakfast before going to the field.
I must mention that I am very comfortable with the current Race to 2 and having to play all our preliminary matches on Saturday morning and the Semi Final and Final on Sunday. I hope this remains for the rest of the season. I certainly do not miss having to get up early both days and having to grind through 10 games over 2 days like back in our Division 3 days.
The Saturday started very well for us- we played CMX first up who we have a lot of respect for. We went through a good run winning 2-0 in the first four matches and unfortunately we tripped up in out last game against first leg winners Eastsiderz. We wanted to finish with a perfect score but that was not to be. I think it might be a good omen to wake us up.
That loss did not effect us much as we finished as the No1 ranked team at the end of Saturday. That meant we would be playing No4 ranked Urban X and No2 CMX would Play No3 Eastsiderz in the Semi Finals.
As I mentioned earlier most of the guys went back to the hotel on saturday afternoon and had a nap while I stayed on to crew for XFox in Division 1. So everyone had a good rest and some came back to watch the late afternoon games.
One of the things we’re good at is watching games and analyzing the plays and the zones to shoot. We picked up a lot of information watching the Division 1 teams play and this helped us on Sunday in the finals. Which is also one of the reasons I like to spot and crew for the Foxes. As a spotter I could see which bunkers are effective and which ones aren’t, where the zones are and how to move between bunkers. There really is no better information gathering than watching point after point – its like letting the Division 1 players walk the field for you in game situation.
On Sunday we got up at a decently respectable time - had a leisurely breakfast and morning business. We rocked up early and casually settled into game mode.
In the Semi Final we were confidant going up against Urban X as we had played them the day before. We won the first game pretty quick but because our forward guy was shot out he couldn’t sound the buzzer and we assumed that he did and walked off the field didn’t score the point.
Head Ref Junaidi came over to tell us that the first game was deemed “null and void” – a big lesson to learn the hard way! So we had to go back out to get that first point again when it should be going out on match point to wrap the game. I went out annoyed and we pounded them into submission for our first point. To their credit they turned it around and beat us in the third game to square it at 1 point each. It was the first time we had to play a third and a fourth game all weekend but we managed to win it and get into the final.
We had a long lay off before the finals. In the other semi final CMX expectedly beat Eastsiderz to get to meet us in the Final. We had lunch and a long wait till after 3pm to the Division 2 final. Again the long break was good for all of us. We were relaxed and just chilled out had a bit to eat and drink and waited.
The build up to the final was a contrast in both teams. While CMX warmed up and pumped themselves up - we were still chilling out in our tent. The foxes were playing for third place against a very good Perth Trauma side jus before out final game and again I helped to spot. I developed a new method of which XFox captain Redza said was ‘very efficient’ which was to tug at his pants whenever I spot a movement. He was standing on a chair yelling the bunkers while I stood on the ground and spotted. Tugging his pants got his attention faster than having to shout over all the other voices. Maybe next time I’ll use a string :P
The Foxes beat Perth Trauma to get third and Redz came over to coach for us. I got XFox Simon to stand in a deep position just to eyeball the center back bunker as we knew that CMX will put 2-3 guys at home to lane us. We guessed correctly as they played the first point with 3 guys in center back. We managed to lane one of them and he got a 1-4-1 penalty. We got the first point pretty quick. The turn around was smooth- we had already pre planned the change over. The second point went on and this time they put 2 in center back – again the lane was effective and G1 was called. And again somebody on their side got a 1-4-1 penalty and Paul called G3 That gave us license to push up the Dorito side as the right side was down. Our right back moved all the way into the 50s and we shot the 4th guy out pretty fast and it was 5 guys hunting down their last guy in the left corner.
This is the Red Sevens first Win in MPOC after coming close with a 2nd place in Division 3 last year. This MPOC weekend was a better relaxed pace of us compared to playing NPL in the previous week. Again I think the games in NPL really helped us in MPOC.
Again- (as Sani said) I will thank our sponsors
DYE PRECISION for the NTs and DM9s
FURIUOS Paintball for the accurate barrels
SEED for the Rotor upgrade
TANKED for our well padded and great looking jerseys
THORB for the performance wear
KCHL / STAKO / GUERILLA for our air systems
We would also like to thank and congratulate our brothers in Team XFox – hanging with them is always one of the highlights of the MPOC weekend. Thank yous to XK for walking the field with us and the coaching and Redza too for the coaching. Daniel and Sani for helping out and the positive encouragement and invaluable tips. Simon for the laughs too. The friendship, encouragement and experience from XFox are invaluable to us.
Thank you to the Ultimate Marshall Junaidi and the Malaysian Marshalls for the all the hard work.
Thank yous to Paul Lam of the MPOC for supporting the Red Sevens from the beginning and thank yous also to Allan Phang for your hard work.
Thank yous also to the Black Aces for sponsoring a box of Paint. Good on you guys for coming out to play in Division 4.
Thank you and commiserations to Patrick Tan to played on the CMX team who was a great sport.