Bangkok Tour (by Alex Berriman/James Zhang)


The 25th Chiengmai Cup Jumbo Doubles Tournament took place in Bangkok over the weekend of the 1st-3rd of May, at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, one of the most enjoyable venues to play at and great hosts every year to the HKFC. One of the highlights being the 18 hole golf course right next to the club to sneak in a cheeky round in between squash matches.


It’d been 8 years since I had been on tour, and by the end of it I couldn’t fathom why it took so long to get back into it! There was a great crowd, some great sport, and a great trip – thank you to the usual suspects that have kept the tradition going. I highly recommend it regardless of your squash level! Jumbo Doubles is a whole other ball game, twice the size and twice the fun!


This tour the HKFC sent 4 teams: veteran partners Phil Head/Glenn Hitch, Matt Robinson/Keith Frith, Adrian Ng/Kenny Foo, along with a new maverick pair in Alex Berriman/James Zhang.


Friday (Day 1) kicked off festivities with early squash matches, a bit of golf, great food, and more squash matches. By the end of the day all 4 teams had survived first round of eliminations with Phil/Glenn & Matt/Keith in the Cup, while Adrian/Kenny & Alex/James found themselves in the Plate. Friday night ended up being an unusual early one with the Saturday matches starting as early as 8am.


Saturday (Day 2) started in high spirits, but by the end of a long day of battle there would be only 1 HKFC team left standing. Two factors mainly accounted for this – an HKFC vs HKFC cannibalization clash in the quarter-final of the Plate that pitted veterans Adrian/Kenny against youngsters Alex/James. Alex/James were hot off the heels of toppling another veteran pair in the previous round (which featured a former multi-time Singapore National Champion), but were unable to overcome veterans Adrian/Kenny whose many years of experienced partnership on a doubles court had built a truly formidable tandem.


The other factor was the HKFC Slayer/Terminator/Who-Needs-A-Partner-When-You-Can-Single-Handedly-Cover-An-Entire-Doubles-Court beast who is better known to lesser mortals as Elvin Keo, a former Malaysian Junior Champion, who makes playing doubles look like Michael Jordan running amok on a mini-Basketball court. His team would stop a valiant effort by Matt/Keith in the quarters, followed by an eventual victory over Phil/Glenn in the semis. All said, a truly well fought battle by both HKFC teams. 


Sunday morning was no lie in, with both the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight and the Plate finals featuring the last standing HKFC team Adrian/Kenny on show. Luckily, after skipping breakfast and scrambling to find a spot to watch the fight, 6 of us ended up crowded round a laptop in the hotel room… In any other circumstances this would not have been acceptable on tour… But it was the fight of the century!


After a disappointing fight, we headed to the RBSC to witness the Plate finals and were at least half-consoled by HKFC’s Adrian/Kenny winning the Plate! Well done boys, at least one of the matches had gone the way we had hoped. 


RBSC are great hosts and had food and entertainment lined up for us on Sunday at the farewell lunch - the perfect way to end a great weekend.


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