Hosts Taichung Bank join Paykan, Pavlodar, Al Arabi in semifinals of Asian Men’s Club Championship


Taichung Bank’s Liu Hung-Min spikes

Taipei, Chinese Taipei, August 19, 2015 - Unbeaten Taichung Bank set up a mighty clash against Pavlodar as powerhouses Paykan face a sturdy challenge from Al Arabi in the do-or-die semifinals of the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship at the University of Taipei Hall on Thursday.

Hosts Taichung Bank Club, the only team yet to lose a match in the top-flight tournament, pulled off a dramatic four-set 4-2 (25-18, 25-19, 26-28, 25-17) victory over Korea Armed Forces in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

Fielding a well-established line-up led by Liu Hong-Jie, his twin brother Liu Hung-Min, Hung Chun-Ching and Chen Chien-Chen, Taichung Bank got off to a flying start winning the first two sets 25-18 25-19, thanks to excellent teamwork including solid blocks from Chen Chien-Chen and Huang Chun-Ching and devastating cross-court attacks by Liu Hung-Min and Hung Chun-Ching.

Terrific An Junchan put Korea Armed Forces back on track in the third set, when he punctured the Taiwanese defence with his exceptional spikes. However, Taichung Bank proved that they were one of the strongest teams in this annual continental competition, as the host side counter-attacked well to stay hot on the visitors’ heels.

Both teams were unable to achieve more than one-point leads up until the visitors called for another time-out at 24-23, with the Koreans taking a narrow lead. Korea Armed Forces’ perseverance paid off handsomely when they finally secured the close third set 28-26.

Holding a 2-1 advantage, Taichung Bank continued their onslaughts in the fourth set. The hosts captured the fourth set and a semifinal berth 25-17.

Liu Hung-Min led Taichung Bank Club with 16 points, all of them through his spectacular attacks, while An Junchan scored a match-high 23 points for Korea Armed Forces including 20 kills from 34 attempts.

Taichung Bank head coach Chen Ke-Chou said the victory was a result of executing various strategies as a direct response to the Korea Armed Forces’ playing style.

“We lost the third set because of our team’s lapse in blocking. We failed to convey clear goals while attempting to block the strong spikes from the Korean side. I hope that my players will keep their faith in playing a better and more controlled game in the days to come.”

In Thursday’s semifinals, Taichung Bank are due to go up against Pavlodar VC from Kazakhstan, who recovered from a first set loss 19-25 to take the remaining three sets 25-16 25-19 25-21 in their quarterfinal match against Iraq’s South Gas Club.

Martin Sopko scored 17 points for Pavlodar VC, while Christian Fromm handed South Gas Club a crucial 18 points, including 14 kills from 44 attempts and three ace serves.

Meanwhile, seven-time champions Paykan of Iran had an easy match against Migrasiya on Wednesday, defeating the Turkmenistan squad in a one-sided battle 3-0 (25-21, 25-13, 25-13) in just 63 minutes. The Iranians next take on the 2012 winners Al Arabi Sport Club from Qatar in the semifinals.

Migrasiya’s head coach Gambarguly Atayev said: “My team has already met our expectations in this championship - to be included in the last eight teams. My players have shown to Asia their high potential by their results in this tournament in Taipei.”

Al Arabi Sport Club overcame a daunting challenge from China’s BAIC Motor on Wednesday to power past the team which finished third at last year’s tournament in Pasay, the Philippines in three thrilling sets 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-22).

Durruthy Camejo led Al Arabi Sport Club with 24 points, including 19 kills from 33 attempts, while Jiang Chuan scored 13 points for BAIC Motor.

In the 9th-12th playoffs at the Taipei Gym, Nakhonratchasima from Thailand proved too strong for Cignal to outclass the Philippine team in comfortable straight sets 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-14). On Thursday, the Thai squad will battle it out with Japan’s Panasonic, the team they had already beaten 3-1 in the Pool G clash earlier, for 9th place. Panasonic survived a determined challenge from Trang An Ninh Binh to beat the Vietnamese opponents in a pulsating three sets 3-0 (25-13, 25-23, 30-28) on Wednesday. Cignal will take on Trang An Ninh Binh to vie for the 11th position.

In the 13th-16th playoffs, Oman’s Sohar struggled to beat NDS from Afghanistan in five sets 3-2 (24-26, 19-25, 25-23, 30-28, 15-11) to next compete for the 13th place against Victorian Volleyball Academy. The Aussies on Wednesday came from behind to beat Kuwait’s Qadsia Sporting Club 3-1 (15-25, 30-28, 25-17, 25-17). NDS and Oadsia Sporting Club will contest the 15th-16th playoff.

Wednesday's results
At University of Taipei Hall
1st-8th quarterfinals

Taichung Bank Club (Chinese Taipei) b Korea Armed Forces (Korea) 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 26-28, 25-17)
Paykan (Iran) b Migrasiya (Turkmenistan) 3-0 (25-21, 25-13, 25-13)
Al Arabi Sport Club (Qatar) b BAIC Motor (China) 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-22)
Pavlodar VC (Kazakhstan) b South Gas Club (Iraq) 3-1 (19-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-21)

At Taipei Gym
9th-12th place playoffs

Nakhonratchasima (Thailand) b Cignal (Philippines) 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-14)
Panasonic (Japan) b Trang An Ninh Binh (Vietnam) 3-0 (25-13, 25-23, 30-28)
13th-16th PLAYOFFS
Sohar (Oman) b NDS (Afghanistan) 3-2 (24-26, 19-25, 25-23, 30-28, 15-11)
Victorian Volleyball Academy (Australia) b Qadsia Sporting Club (Kuwait) 3-1 (15-25, 30-28, 25-17, 25-17)

Match schedule (All local times)
August 20, 2015

At University of Taipei Hall
5th-8th Playoffs

13.00: Korea Armed Forces (Korea) v South Gas Club (Iraq)
15.00: Migrasiya (Turkmenistan) v BAIC Motor (China)000000000

17.00: Taichung Bank Club (Chinese Taipei) v Pavlodar VC (Kazakhstan)
19.00: Paykan (Iran) v Al Arabi Sport Club (Qatar)

At Taipei Gym

13.00: 15th-16th: NDS (Afghanistan) v Qadsia Sporting Club Kuwait)
15.00: 13th-14th: Sohar (Oman) v Victorian Volleyball Academy (Australia)
17.00: 11th-12th Cignal (Philippines) v Trang An Ninh Binh (Vietnam)
19.00: 9th-10th: Nakhonratchasima (Thailand) v Panasonic (Japan)

Click here to visit the competition website.


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