Iranian Saber Kazemi (19) and Chinese Liu Libin (18) steer Kuwait Club to 3-0 win against Jordan’s Al Wehdat
Bangkok, Thailand, March 14, 2023 – In-form Kuwait Club and Al Rayyan SC, the only teams undefeated at the 1st West Asia Men’s Club Volleyball Championship, saw off Al Wehdat and Al Nabi Elias in comfortable straight sets in their last preliminary matches on Monday to respectively top Pool A and Pool B at the Sports Palace Hall in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
In Pool A, Kuwait Club, steered by Chinese national player Liu Libin and Iranian powerful hitter Saber Kazemi, who won the MVP awards at the 2021 Asian Senior Men’s Championship in Japan and the Asian Men’s Club Championship in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand with Iran’s Foolad Sirjan team in the same year, proved their superiority over Jordan’s Al Wehdat to brush off the winless host side for a sensational 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-19) victory.
At the end of the pool round-robin preliminaries on Monday, Kuwait Club captured the top spot in Pool A with 8 points from 3 straight wins, followed by Qatar’s Police Union with 6 points from 2 wins against one loss to Kuwait Club. Oman SC came in third place with one win against 2 losses, with Al Wehdat in fourth position with no point awarded.
Al Rayyan SC
In Pool B encounters on Monday, Qatar’s giants Al Rayyan SC, fifth place at the last year’s Asian Men’s Club Championship in Iran, handed Al Nabi Elias the disappointing fourth loss in this topflight championship following their brilliant 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-19) triumph over the Palestinian team.
The other Pool B match saw Dar Kulaib, former consecutive two-time Crown Prince’s Cup champions in Bahrain, storm past Jordan’s Shabab Al Hussain 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-23) in their last preliminary match.
As expected, Al Rayyan SC made a clean sweep in Pool B with 11 points from 4 wins in a row. Dar Kulaib finished second with 10 points from 3 wins against one loss. Iraq’s South Gas came in third place with 6 points from 2 wins against 2 losses. Jordan’s Shabab Al Hussain finished fourth place with 3 points from one win against 3 losses, with unfancied Palestine’s Al Nabi Elias in fifth position with no point awarded.
With only top four teams from each pool advancing to the cross quarterfinals, Al Nabi Elias, which finished fifth in Pool B, had their heads low in disappointment as they failed to make the cut for that round and ended their campaign with the bottom 9th place in this championship.
Meanwhile, Tuesday, March 14 is the rest day. The championship resumes on Wednesday in the action-packed cross quarterfinals, with teams finishing 1A taking on 4B, 2A challenging 3B, 3A going up against 2B and 4A facing 1B.
Following the Wednesday’s matchups, Kuwait Club (1A) will play Shabab Al Hussain (4B), with Police Union (2A) taking on South Gas (3B), Oman SC (3A) challenging Dar Kulaib (2B) and Al Wehdat (4A) facing Al Rayyan SC (1B).
The four winning teams will then secure their berths in the semifinals, while the losers will fight it out for their better positions in the classification round of 5th-8th places.
MONDAY’S MATCH RESULTS
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