Manama, Bahrain, May 19, 2023 – Police Sports team’s efforts at the 2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship have reached great heights when they stole the limelight with stunning 3-2 (25-20, 22-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-12) win against Shahdab Yazd in the quarterfinals Pool F at Isa Bin Rashid Hall 1 on Friday to set up challenging semifinal clash against Jakarta Bhayangkara Presisi.
However, things started to get worse for Shahdab since following the stunning loss to the Qataris, the Iranian giants finished second in Pool F and will next go up against Pool E winners Suntory Sunbirds in the eagerly-anticipated semifinals.
The Saturday’s semifinal clash will be a semifinal rematch of the previous edition last year in Iran, where Shahdab succumbed to 1-3 loss to Suntory Sunbirds. The Japanese outfits went on their fine form to eventually picked up silver medal out there after losing 2-3 to Paykan Tehran, another Iranian team, in the final showdown.
Pool F winners Police will next face off against Pool E runners-up Jakarta Bhayangkara Presisi in the other semifinal clash on Saturday.
On Friday, Shahdab Yazd made a poor start in the first set to trail Police Sports Team with four points behind at 18-22 and could not regain their form. With Youssef Oughlaf methodically tearing the Iranian defence apart, the Police Sports Team made their mark. Their resilience was showcased through spectacular blocking and explosive attacks as Shahdab Yazd went down tamely 20-25.
Going down one set, Shahdab Yazd regained their composure and fought back mightily to take total control of the next two sets with the same margin 25-22 and 25-22.
Conceding one set deposit, the Qataris came back much stronger in the remaining two sets. Their consistent play and more determination worked out pretty well as Police fought tooth and nail to win the hard-fought fourth set 25-23, forcing the tie-breaker.
Both teams came all-out in the decider, but Police fared better on the home stretch to win the closely-contested set 15-12 and match.
Petar Dirlic scored a team-high 26 points and team-mate Nikola Vasic added 17 points to the team’s tally. Amir Ghafour led Shahdab Yazd with 18 points including 17 attacks.
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