Taipei, Chinese Taipei, August 13, 2015 - Mostafa Sharifat led Iran's Paykan to victory against Kuwait’s Qadsia Sporting Club as the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship opened in Chinese Taipei on Thursday.
The pool round-robin preliminaries of the annual continental competition kicked off with Pool A and Pool B encounters taking place at the University of Taipei Hall and Pool C and Pool D matches taking place at Taipei Gym.
In Pool B, Paykan, who have handed powerhouses Iran seven titles in this competition, lined up a strong team including eight national team players who participated in Iran's second-place finish at the recent Asian Senior Men’s Championship.
Paykan fielded Sharifat Mostafa, Ali Hossein, Gholizad Mojtaba, Ghara Reza and Farhad Salafzoon. They rested Zarini Hamzeh and Fayazi Damnabi Purya. The Iranians defeated their Kuwaiti opponents 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-19).
Sharifat Mostafa, who won the Best Middle Blocker award at the recent Asian meet, led Paykan with 12 points, including 8 kills and 4 blocks, while Alhamadi Abdullah emerged as the top scorer for Qadsia Sporting Club with 7 points.
A daunting task awaits Paykan on Friday when they will go up against Korea Armed Forces, who also registered their first victory in the top-flight competition on Thursday after they powered past the Philippines’ Cignal in thrilling straight sets 3-0 (26-24, 25-18, 25-21).
Japan’s Panasonic defeated Afghanistan's NDS in Pool A in a one-sided 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-12) victory.
With the likes of ace spiker Liu Hung-Min, his twin brother Liu Hong-Jie and Chen Chien-Chen, Taichung Bank Club overcame their poor start to win a hard-fought four-set 3-1 (20-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-15) victory over Turkmenistan’s Migrasiya.
Liu Hung-Min totalled 18 points for Taichung Bank Club, including 17 deadly attacks, while Chen Chien-Chen led the blocking and service skills with three and five points respectively. Nuryyev Dovletgeldi led Migrasiya with 12 points.
In Pool C, Al Arabi Sport Club, which handed Qatar a lone Asian Men’s Club title in 2012, struggled to beat Iraq’s South Gas Club in four sets 3-1 (25-20, 26-28, 25-22, 25-19).
Happiness showed on the faces of every Al Arabi Sport Club team member after the victory. Al Arabi Sport Club’s head coach Lajnef Maaouia, who also felt a sense of relief, said that the key to their victory was passion.
“Winning the first match means a lot to us. It is so important to both the team and the players. After a lot of of discussion and the realisation of some key points, the team overcame the obstacles and played at a higher level. Event though the skills and strategies are important, faith and determination are what truly matters.”
Thailand, which did not send a team to the previous edition in Pasay, the Philippines, were represented by Thailand League champions Nakhonratchasima.
Spearheaded by former Thailand national player Yuranan Boudang, Nakhonratchasima enjoyed an easy 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-21) win over Australia’s Victorian Volleyball Academy. Yuranan Boudang led the team in the spiking, blocking and service skills with 14, 3 and 5 points respectively to emerge as the top scorer for Nakhonratchasima with 22 points. Jonathan Morley scored seven points for Victorian Volleyball Academy.
In Pool D, Kazakhstan’s Pavlodar VC got off to an impressive start with a comfortable 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-19) win over Vietnam’s Trang An Ninh Binh, while China’s BAIC Motor, who finished third in last year's edition of the competition, got their championship campaign off to a convincing start with a comfortable 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-19) win over Oman’s Sohar.Thursday's results
University of Taipei Hall
Panasonic (Japan) b NDS (Afghanistan) 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-12)
Chinese Taipei (Taichung Bank Club) b Migrasiya (Turkmenistan) 3-1 (20-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-15)
Paykan (Iran) b Qadsia Sporting Club (Kuwait) 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-19)
Korea Armed Forces (Korea) b Cignal (Philippines) 3-0 (26-24, 25-18, 25-21)Taipei Gym
Al Arabi (Qatar) b South Gas Club (Iraq) 3-1 (25-20, 26-28, 25-22, 25-19)
Nakhonratchasima (Thailand) b Victorian Volleyball Academy (Australia) 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-21)
Pavlodar VC (Kazakhstan) b Trang An Ninh Binh (Vietnam) 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-19)
BAIC Motor (China) b Sohar (Oman) 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-19)Match schedule (All local times)
Friday, August 14, 2015At University of Taipei Hall
13.00: Qadsia Sporting Club (Kuwait) v Cignal (the Philippines)
15.00: Korea Armed Forces (Korea) v Paykan (Iran)
17.00: NDS (Afghanistan) v Migrasiya (Turkmenistan)
19.00: Taichung Bank Club (Chinese Taipei) v Panasonic (Japan)At Taipei Gym
13.00: Pavlodar VC (Kazakhstan) v Sohar (Oman)
15.00: BAIC Motor (China) v Trang An Ninh Binh (Vietnam)
17.00: Victorian Volleyball Academy (Australia) v Al Arabi Sport Club (Qatar)
19.00: South Gas Club (Iraq) v Nakhonratchasima (Thailand)
to visit the competition website.