QATAR, IRAN WIN TWO IN A ROW TO TOP THEIR POOLS AT 6TH AVC CUP FOR MEN
Taipei, Chinese Taipei, August 9, 2018 – Qatar and defending champions Iran registered their second consecutive wins to top their pools after defeating Vietnam 3-0 (25-23 25-23 25-16) and Australia 3-1 (25-20, 25-22, 18-25, 25-16) respectively on day 2 of the 6th AVC Cup for Men at the University of Taipei (Tianmu) Gymnasium.
Fresh from a brilliant 3-0 win over Vietnam on the opening day, Qatar continued their momentum and stunned Thailand in three-setter 25-23 25-23 25-16. Two consecutive wins have given Qatar the top spot in Pool C. Hard-hitting Renan Ribeiro and Mubarak Hammad contributed 18 points apiece for Qatar, while Kantapat Koonmee scored 12 points including 11 kills and 1 point of service ace.
Mighty Iran downed Australia in a thrilling four-setter 25-20, 25-22, 18-25, 25-16. Due to Australians’ serving and attacking mistakes, Iran cruised to victory in the first two sets. At the third set, Australia produced solid blocking and effective digging, forcing the game to go on to the fourth set. Iranians gained a stranglehold over Australians in the set with strengthened serving and took the set. Porya Yali contributed 17 points for Iran including 16 kills from 32 attempts, while Maisam Salehi and Aliasghar Mojarad both added 10 points. Curtis Stockton scored match-high 21 points for Aussies including 18 kills from 39 attempts. With the record of two 3-1 wins, Iran top Pool B, while host Chinese Taipei and Australia will fight each other Friday evening for the second place of the pool.
Japan, defending and successive two-time Asian champions, had to pay for youth as the team were composed of university players. They succumbed to another defeat and are forced to locate the third spot in Pool A after suffering a loss to Kazakhstan in hard-fought 3-1 (25-22 25-23 21-25 25-13).
Kazakhstan shook Japanese receptions from the serving line and led with straight two-set wins. Although Japan snatched the third set by effective counterattacks and good digs, Kazakh’s blocking blunted the Japanese efforts with their exceptional attacks and made Japan bottom of Pool A. Anton Kuznetsov contributed a match-high 16 points for Kazakhstan including 13 blocking points, while Maxim Michshenko and Aibat Netalin both added 14 points. Kenyu Nakamoto scored 15 points for Japan including 13 kills from 30 attempts, while Kento Miyaura added 14 points including 12 kills from 34 attempts.
The 6th AVC Cup for Men will continue its last round of pool round-robin preliminaries on Friday, with Vietnam taking on Thailand to vie for the second place of Pool C, Korea competing with Kazakhstan for the first spot in Pool A and host Chinese Taipei playing Australia for the second position in Pool B. The competition will have a rest day on August 12 and set the final showdown on August 15.
MATCH SCHEDULE & RESULT
Wednesday, 8, August 2018
Korea b Japan 3-2 (20-25 25-19 25-23 23-25 19-17)
Qatar b Vietnam 3-0 (25-20 25-19 25-23)
Iran b Chinese Taipei 3-1 (25-23, 14-25, 25-21, 25-23)
Thursday, 9, August, 2018
Kazakhstan b Japan 3-1 (25-22 25-23 21-25 25-13)
Qatar v Thailand 3-0 (25-23 25-23 25-16)
Iran b Australia 3-1 (25-20, 25-22, 18-25, 25-16)
Friday, 10, August, 2018
13:30 Vietnam v Thailand
16:00 Korea v Kazakhstan
18:30 Chinese Taipei v Australia
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