Bangkok, Thailand, December 26, 2022 – Formidable Bangladesh, hosts and the only unbeaten team, and Kyrgyzstan pulled off exceptional straight-set victories against Nepal and Sri Lanka in respective semifinal encounters to set up Monday’s final showdown of the 2022 Central Asian Volleyball Association (CAVA) Men’s U23 Volleyball Championship at Shaheed Suhrawardi National Indoor Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka.
Earlier, Bangladesh maintained a perfect run in the three-day, round-robin preliminaries to top the standings with 8 points from three straight wins, while Kyrgyzstan finished second with 5 points from two wins against one loss. Sri Lanka came in third place overall with 4 points from one win against two losses and winless Nepal finished on the bottom fourth position with one point awarded.
In the Sunday’s do-or-die semifinals, best-ranked team Bangladesh took on fourth place Nepal, while second-ranked team Kyrgyzstan challenged closest rivals and third-ranked Sri Lanka, eighth place at the 2019 Asian Men’s U23 Championship in Myanmar.
Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan performed brilliantly and were superior in every department against their respective rivals on Sunday. The host side outplayed Nepal in comfortable three-setter 25-15, 25-22, 25-13 in 78 minutes, while Kyrgyzstan struggled in the hotly-contested first set to beat Sri Lanka 29-27 to take the next two sets more comfortably 25-21, 25-20.
Following their superb form in the semifinals, Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan will fight it out in the final clash for the eventual title, while the two losers, Nepal and Sri Lanka, will contest the third-place playoff for the bronze medal.
In the first semifinal clash on Sunday, hosts Bangladesh had a blistering run of points under the spectacular attacks from Shafin and Redowan, solid blocks from Ratul and impeccable serving of Shafin, Sujon and Redowan, while Basnet brilliantly orchestrated the Nepal’s offence whenever he was in play to shake the strong opponents’ blocking with his powerful spikes.
Bangladesh took the easy first set 25-15 before Nepal bounced back in the second set with effective blocks from Malta and Basnet, allowing the host side attacking difficulties. However, Bangladesh seemed a side packed with more talents and they showed tremendous courage and defensive resilience to come back and snatched the thrilling set 25-22.
The third set turned one-way traffic as the host side continued their consistency with impressive teamwork to capture the set 25-13, match and a final berth.
Redowan chipped in with 14 points including 10 attacks for Bangladesh. Shafin and Sujon kept good company to contribute 13 and 10 points respectively. Basnet topscored with 11 points for Nepal.
Meanwhile, the second match saw Kyrgyzstan face a tough test against Sri Lanka. Struggling to beat the determined rivals 29-27 in the hard-fought first set, Kyrgyzstan found their groove and ran away with it in the next two sets 25-21, 25-20 for the match.
Medetbek Uulu scored a match-high 18 points including 12 attacks and 4 blocks, while Naveen led Sri Lanka with 13 points, while Lahiru and Kavishka added 12 and 10 points respectively.
Kyrgyzstan’s No.7 player, Ravkhat Uulu, was selected Man of the Match.
On Sunday, senior officials of Bangladesh Volleyball Federation presented souvenirs to representatives from participating teams and referees officiating at the on-going championship. CAVA President Mr Mohamed Latheef was also present in the presentation and watched the Sunday’s matches.
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