Manama, Bahrain, May 18, 2023 – The title chase with the lone ticket up for grabs in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship later this year in India has come down to the final four teams in the 2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship, now underway at Isa Bin Rashid Halls here.

Japan’s Suntory Sunbirds, Iran’s Shahdab Yazd, Qatar’s Police Sports Team and Indonesia’s Jakarta Bhayangkara Presisi all punched their tickets to the tournament’s last four on Thursday, on the first of two days of quarterfinal pool play.

The Sunbirds, Shahdab and Police all maintained their undefeated records so far in the competition, while Bhayangkara continued their impressive resurgence following an opening night loss.

The Sunbirds and Bhayangkara will be battling at 2pm local time for Pool E supremacy, followed at 4.30pm by Shahdab and Police squaring off for first place in Pool F.

In the Saturday’s knockout semi-finals, the top team from Pool E will face the runners-up of Pool F, while the Pool E second-placers will lock horns with the Pool F winners.

In Thursday’s classification Pools G and H, which will determine the tournament’s final rankings from 9th to 16th, victorious were Bahrain’s Al-Ahli, Australia’s Canberra Heat, Taichung Bank from Chinese Taipei, and Atyrau VC from Kazakhstan.

Friday’s games are scheduled to be held from 11.30 am and continue until the night, with the day’s last fixtures set to start no earlier than 7:00 pm. Entrance is free and all are welcome to enjoy the intense volleyball action.

The Sunbirds were flying high in their 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-19) Pool E victory over Korean Air Jumbos Pro-Volleyball Club, thus securing their final four berth and eliminating their rivals from further title contention.

Russian superstar Dmitriy Muserskiy had 16 points to spearhead the Sunbirds, while Cuban Alain Junior de Armas added 10 points and Kenji Sato had nine. Im Donghyeok was the leading scorer for Jumbos with 16 in the loss, while Jeong Hanyong and Jin Jiwe finished with seven apiece.

The Sunbirds now face off with Bhayangkara on Friday at 2:00 pm to determine the Pool E winners.

“I’m glad that we won this match; I’ve never played against Korea in my life and that was surprising for me,” said Muserskiy. “We showed our volleyball and what we can do. I am really glad we won 3-0 as we could save some energy for tomorrow’s match”.

“Of course, our goal is to win the championship. We will show our best volleyball and if we can reach the final, even win, that will be very nice for us.”

The Indonesians claimed their own 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-14) victory Thursday against Bayankhongor Crownd Geo VC of Mongolia, whose semi-final hopes have also been dashed.

Farhan Halim was once again their best performer with 20 points, while Ugandan Daudi Okello had 13 and Mohammadjav Manavinezhad contributed 12. Batsuuri Battur and Bayarsaikhan Batsukh had seven each to lead the Mongolians.

Bhayangkara skipper Nizar Julfikare Munawar said: “This match was good for us; we won easily. “The true games are now in the semi-finals and tomorrow against Suntory.

“We have learned about our tactics in this game, we played well but made more mistakes. Tomorrow, we will push harder to be best prepared for the semi-finals.”

In Pool F, Shahdab Yazd were convincing 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-23) winners against Kuwait Sporting Club.

Shahrooz Homayonfarmanesh finished with 12 points as the Iranians’ leading scorer, while Amir Ghafour added eight and Meisam Salehi finished with seven points. Saber Kazemi, who is from Iran, led the Kuwaitis with 18 markers, while Abdullah Mansour had eight.

The Iranians next take on Qatar’s Police for the right to secure the top ranking in their group, with both already through to the last four.

The Qataris were also triumphant in straight sets Thursday evening. Despite a hard fight from South Gas Sports Club of Iraq, Police were able to come away with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-23) result.

Estonian Oliver Venno had 20 points to spearhead the Qataris, while Efe Bayram from Turkey added 15. Bulgarian Todo Skirmov paced the Iraqis with 16 points, while Hussain Nameer Kamoona chipped in with 12 in the loss.

In Thursday’s classification groups, home side Al-Ahli overcame a tough challenge from Yemen’s Khaypil Sports Club in their Pool G encounter. The Bahrainis battled back from a deficit in an extended second set and then were dominant in the third to come away with the 3-0 (25-20, 37-35, 25-17) score line.

Brazilian Gabriel Candido had 18 points to pace the Bahrainis, while Hasan Ebrahim added 10 and Mohammed Yaqoob eight. Gamal Khairalah finished with 18 to top the Yemenis’ scoresheet, as Egyptians Amr Elawwad and Essa Mohmed Elhossiny finished with 12 apiece.

Al-Ahli assistant coach Ramzi Gritli commented: “We started well, but in the second set we needed more focus, that’s why the score went up. In the last set, we concentrated better and were able to finish the match 3-0.

“Now we need to focus even more for the remaining games, in order to finish ninth place. We need to continue to win, and we need to push our team even more.”

Also in Classification Pool G, Australia’s Canberra Heat claimed their first victory of the tournament following a 3-1 (28-26, 21-25, 25-23, 25-22) decision against Diamond Food Fine Chef-Air Force of Thailand.


Matthew Aubrey paced the Aussies with 25 points, while Trent O’Dea chipped in with 15 and Adam Bradbury 13. Brazilian Evandro Dias de Souza had a game-high 31 for the Thais while Chaiwat Thungkham scored 16 in the losing effort.

In Classification Pool H, Taichung Bank from Chinese Taipei cruised past the Aspiring Volleyball Team from Hong Kong, China 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-14).

Rayshon Nehemiah Jackman top scored 14 points, while Chang Yu-Sheng added 14 and Sung Po-Ting had 10 for Taichung. Tang Hin Shing and Poon Chi Leung finished with six points apiece to lead Aspiring.

In the other Pool H fixture, Atyrau defeated Kam Air of Afghanistan 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-23, 25-19).

Boris Kempa had a game-high 25 markers, while Aibat Netalin contributed 15. Sabawoon Mohammad Wardak scored 13 to pace the Yemenis, while Abdul Malik Mamoozai finished with 11.


(All local times)


11:30 – Korean Air Jumbos Pro-Volleyball Club (Korea) vs Bayankhongor Crownd Geo VC (Mongolia)

14:00 – Jakarta Bhayangkara Presisi (Indonesia) vs Suntory Sunbirds (Japan)

16:30 – Shahdab Yazd (Iran) vs Police Sports Team (Qatar)

19:00 – Al Ahli (Bahrain) vs Diamond Food Fine Chef-Air Force (Thailand)


11:30 – Canberra Heat (Australia) vs Khaypil Sports Club (Yemen)

14:00 – Kam Air (Afghanistan) vs Aspiring Volleyball Team (Hong Kong, China)

16:30 – South Gas Sports Club (Iraq) vs Kuwait Sporting Club (Kuwait)

19:00 – Taichung Bank (Chinese Taipei) vs Atyrau VC (Kazakhstan)




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