Amir Ghafour named Most Valuable Player
Shahdab Yazd won Tuesday’s final of the Iranian men’s Premiere League to celebrate their second consecutive national title and the right to compete at the 2023 Asian Club Championship. It was also their second overall medal since they joined Iran’s elite division in 2019.
Shahdab Yazd celebrate as Iranian Premiere League 2023 champions (Photo credits: volleyball.ir)
A total of 14 teams took part in the 2022-2023 edition of the Premiere League. Shahdab topped the standings of the double round-robin regular season on a 19-7 win-loss record. Then they went through the quarterfinal playoffs with two four-set wins over Eefa Ceram Ardakan and through the semifinals with 3-0 and 3-2 wins over Pas Gorgan to progress to the single-match final.
In front of over 3,000 spectators at the Volleyball Federation Hall in Tehran, Shahdab hammered out a 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-19) shutout of Labanyat Haraz Amol in the championship final to triumph with the crown. Opposite Amir Ghafour was the best scorer of the match with 19 points for the winners, including six kill blocks and two aces. His counterpart Ali Hajipour was Haraz’s highest scorer with 14 points.
Amir Ghafour on the serve (Photo credits: Dorsa Zendedel, volleyball.ir)
Finalists Haraz had finished the regular season in second place on 18-8 and passed through the quarterfinals and the semifinals undefeated. The silver medal they earned was their club’s first podium finish in the Premiere League.
No match for the third place was played and both losing semifinalists, Pas Gorgan and Paykan Tehran, were honoured as bronze medallists.
Mehdi Mahdavi sets for Masoud Gholami during the final (Photo credits: Dorsa Zendedel, volleyball.ir)
Shahdab’s Amir Ghafour was named Most Valuable Player of the league. A season’s Dream Team was also nominated:
Setter: Mehdi Mahdavi (Shahdab Yazd)
Opposite: Amin Esmaeilnejad (Pas Gorgan)
Outside hitters: Shahrooz Homayonfarmanesh (Shahdab Yazd), Mojtaba Mirzajanpour (Labanyat Haraz Amol)
Middle blockers: Mohammad Fallah (Paykan Tehran), Masoud Gholami (Shahdab Yazd)
Libero: Arman Salehi (Pas Gorgan)
Awards were also presented to Poriya Hossein Khanzadeh of Labanyat Haraz Amol for Phenomenon of the Season and to Mahdi Jelveh of Nian Electronic Khorasan Mashhad for Ethical Player of the Season.
The Iranian Premiere League 2023 Dream team (Photo credits: volleyball.ir)
The national championship trophy was presented to the winners by Islamic Republic of Iran Volleyball Federation President Mohammadreza Davarzani.
“Special congratulations to the good people of Yazd! They were entitled to this championship. The Shahdab staff and players put in all their efforts to win it. The championship title has so much weight, but defending it is perhaps even more valuable,” said Shahdab’s head coach Mohammadreza Tondravan. “The league was tight and the playoffs were close. There were about eight players in the league who can be the future of Iranian volleyball.”
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