Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, March 28, 2017 – Myanmar delighted home fans with a convincing straight-set 25-15 25-17 25-15 victory over Hong Kong in the curtain-raisers of the SMM 11th Asian Boys’ U19 Volleyball Championship at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium Hall B on Tuesday.
Mr Htun Myint Naing, president of the Myanmar Volleyball Federation, presided over the opening ceremony ahead of the competition which attracted 11 teams including title-holders and consecutive 6-time champions Iran to vie for top honour and 4 slots to compete in this year’s FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship in Bahrain.
Myanmar, whose age average is 14.4 years, were led by powerful attacker Aung Zaw Htet and Ya Htike Wai, who stands 192cm tall, the team’s tallest player. Smaller in size, Hong Kong, whose height average is 177cm against the hosts’ 180cm, tried hard to recover from the first-set down 15-25, but still found Myanmar an impossible nut to crack to go down 17-25 in the second set.
With their backs against the wall, Hong Kong poured everything they had in the third set, hoping for a comeback, but things started to turn sour for the visitors. With the nerve-wracking noises of dram-beating home supporters, Myanmar went on their good show. Taking a narrow 8-7 lead, Myanmar stretched it to 20-12 and never looked back since then to win the set 25-15 and the one-sided match.
Aung Zaw Htet topscored with 18 points for Myanmar including 15 kills and one ace serve, while Le Yin Chun led Hong Kong with 8 points.
“It was not a good match although we won it. Hong Kong are very young and still inexperienced. We have been training for two months, but took it seriously just one week because all of my players are students and had to take their exams before starting an intensive training for the tournament,” Myanmar’s head coach Kyaw Swar Win commented after the match.
“We next take on Australia. We don’t have much information about them, but we have to try our best. We don’t want to set any target in this championship, but just want to give our best one at a time,” he said.