Iraq’s South Gas Club celebrate after beating Thailand’s Nakhonratchasima
Taipei, August 14, 2013 – In-form Taichung Bank, Paykan, Pavlodar, Al Arabi and BAIC Motor registered their second consecutive wins in the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship on Friday.
The highlight of the day was Taichung Bank’s scintillating straight-sets (25-19, 25-20, 25-20) win over Japan’s Panasonic.
Fresh from beating Turkmenistan’s Migrasiya 3-1 in Thursday’s opener, the host team fielded a strong line-up, including Liu Hong-Jie, his twin brother Liu Hung-Min, Chen Chien-Chen and Wang Ming-Chun to power past Panasonic in their Pool A encounter. The host team’s aggressive attacks were led by Chen Chien-Chen, who penetrated the Japanese defence with his exceptional cross-court spikes. Huang Chun-Ching and Liu Hung-Min also combined well for solid blocks.
Sogo Watanabe and Masayuki Ikeda were the spearheads for Panasonic. However, Taichung Bank, whose players competed for the Chinese Taipei team in the recent Asian Men’s Championship, fared better in attacking and blocking, which allowed the hosts a convincing win over the Japanese side.
Liu Hung-Min led Taichung Bank with 11 points, including nine kills from 17 attempts, while Ikeda tallied 13 points for Panasonic.
At the press conference, Taichung Bank coach Chen Ke-Chou said the team's performance was better than the day before and that he had studied the Japanese defence on video before the game, but he wasn’t completely satisfied.
“It has been long time since Chinese Taipei organized a men’s tournament in Taipei,” he said. “We have players just recovering from injury and the team has some young players who are very excited because the tournament is being held on our home soil. However, we still made some service mistakes because of the lack of experience of the young players. I think the Iranian team and Qatar have the biggest chance to win this tournament because of the presence of foreign professional players, but we will do our best.”
Japanese coach Shinji Kawamura was disappointed with his team’s game plan, adding that Panasonic badly need to develop their defence and attack.
The other Pool A match on Friday saw Turkmenistan’s Migrasiya make amends for their first-day loss to Taichung Bank as they breezed past Afghanistan’s NDS in straight sets (25-18, 25-17, 25-16).
In Pool B, seven-time champions Paykan, who had seven players in the Iran team that finished as runners-up in the Asian Championship, continued their dominance as they outclassed Korea Armed Forces 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-20).
Paykan controlled the game well. Aside from devastating attacks from Fayazi Damnabi Purya, Mostafavand Saeed and Nasr Esfahani Alireza, the Iranian squad also performed superbly in blocking and serving.
Jeong Yeongho scored a match-high 19 points for Korea Armed Forces, including 18 kills from 24 attempts. He also scored the team’s single blocking point. Fayazi Damnabi Purya scored 14 points for Paykan, half of them through deadly attacking.
Meanwhile, the Philippines’ Cignal tasted their first win in this top-flight competition, struggling hard to beat Kuwait’s Qadsia Sporting Club in three tough sets (25-22, 25-17, 26-24). With the loss, the Kuwaiti side sank to 0-2 and a daunting task awaits them in Saturday’s match as they will go up against the formidable Korea Armed Forces.
In Pool D, Kazakhstan’s Pavlodar VC joined Paykan as the only two teams yet to lose a set. On Friday, Pavlodar sent Oman’s Sohar packing 3-0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-19) and will next battle it out with unbeaten BAIC Motor to vie for the top spot of the pool. The Chinese team, who finished third in the previous edition in the Philippines last year, beat Vietnam’s Trang An Ninh Binh in four dramatic sets: 25-18, 25-13, 25-27, 25-16.
Al Arabi Sport Club from Qatar, which captured the Asian Men’s Club title in 2012, proved a cut above Victorian Volleyball Academy to brush aside the Australians 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-9). The Qatari side will next go up against Thailand’s Nakhonratchasima, which found Iraq’s South Gas Club an impossible nut to crack on Friday, losing 3-2 (23-25, 25-15, 25-16, 15-25, 11-15).
AT UNIVERSITY OF TAIPEI HALL
Migrasiya (Turkmenistan) b NDS (Afghanistan) 3-0 (25-18 25-17 25-16)
Taichung Bank Club (Chinese Taipei) b Panasonic (Japan) 3-0 (25-19 25-20 25-20)
Cignal (Philippines) b Qadsia Sporting Club (Kuwait) 3-0 (25-22 25-17 26-24)
Paykan (Iran) b Korea Armed Forces (Korea) 3-0 (25-17 25-22 25-20)
AT TAIPEI GYM
Al Arabi Sport Club (Qatar) b Victorian Volleyball Academy (Australia) 3-0 (25-20 25-18 25-9)
South Gas Club (Iraq) b Nakhonratchasima (Thailand) 3-2 (25-23 15-25 16-25 25-15 15-11)
Pavlodar VC (Kazakhstan) b Sohar (Oman) 3-0 (25-20 25-13 25-19)
BAIC Motor (China) b Trang An Ninh Binh (Vietnam) 3-1 (25-18 25-13 25-27 25-16)
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