Bangkok, Thailand, December 23, 2022 – Hosts Bangladesh won the hotly-anticipated encounter against Kyrgyzstan to become one of the strongest teams to be reckoned with in the 2022 Central Asian Volleyball Association (CAVA) Men’s U23 Volleyball Championship, as Sri Lanka captured their first win after 3-0 demolition of Nepal at Shaheed Suhrawardi National Indoor Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka on Friday.
Fresh from sensational straight-set win against Nepal in the curtain-raiser the previous day, Bangladesh made it two on the trot after 3-1 (26-24, 21-25, 27-25, 25-23) win against Kyrgyzstan on Friday, while Sri Lanka regained their pride lost to Kyrgyzstan on the first day to beat Nepal in straight sets 26-24, 25-18, 25-17.
Against in-form Bangladesh on Friday, Kyrgyzstan battled hard in the first set, which was incredibly close with neither side able to break clear, but it was the host side which played a little better on the home stretch to take the closely-contested first set 26-24.
Going down one set, Kyrgyzstan fought back in the second set and fortunately, the momentum was with the coach Aliev Bakyt’s men. The strong visitors put the host side under enormous pressure with the spectacular attacks from Zheenbek Uulu and Medetbek Uulu to win the set 25-21.
The third and fourth sets became more thrilling as Bangladesh rediscovered their mojo. Redowan and Shafin were constant threats from spike range and Titash’s well-placed serving and blocking ability proved a thorn in the Kyrgyzstan’s attacks. Despite putting on a gallant fight, Kyrgyzstan were never able to close out the sets and Bangladesh cruised on to impressively wrap up both difficult sets 27-25, 25-23 and the hard-fought match.
Redowan was the driving force for Bangladesh, finishing with match-high 23 points from 20 attacks and team-leading 3 blocks. Thanks to a terrific display, Redowan was selected the Man of the Match. Teammates Shafin and Titash contributed 20 and 10 points respectively. Zheenbek Uulu led Kyrgyzstan with 18 points including 16 attacks from 34 attempts. Medetbek Uulu and Ravkhat Uulu kept good company to add 17 and 15 points respectively.
Meanwhile, the first match earlier was expected to be a tight battle between two sides which were searching for their first win. However, things went the Sri Lankans’ way.
Sri Lanka, which suffered their first 1-3 loss to Kyrgyzstan the previous day, showcased a dose of grit in this more comfortable match against Nepal, beaten in straight sets by Bangladesh on Thursday.
After going down in close opening set 24-26, the Nepalese side had no answer for the irresistible Naveen and Kavishka, both of whom unleashed powerful attacks, to go down tamely in the next two sets 18-25, 17-25 to succumb to two losses in straight sets in this championship.
Naveen chipped in with 20 points including 19 attacks for Sri Lanka, while Kavishka added 16 points. K C led Nepal with 12 points. Aside from emerging as the Sri Lanka’s top scorer, Naveen also landed the Man of the Match.
At the conclusion of Day 2 of the five-day competition, hosts Bangladesh stayed atop the four-team standing with 6 points from two straight wins, while Sri Lanka overtook Kyrgyzstan to the second spot with 3 points from one win against one loss. Kyrgyzstan also had a 1-1 record, but are trailing in third place due to the Sri Lanka’s better sets ratio. Nepal had yet won a single set to have no point awarded.
On Saturday, the last day of the single round-robin first round, Kyrgyzstan will take on Nepal in the day’s first match, followed by the match between hosts Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, which finished 8th place at the 2019 Asian Men’s U23 Championship in Myanmar.
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