TEAMS ON THE HUNT FOR SEMIS SLOTS AS ASIAN SENIOR MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP RESUMES

TEAMS ON THE HUNT FOR SEMIS SLOTS AS ASIAN SENIOR MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP RESUMES

By Marie Louise Principe

Chiba, Japan, September 16, 2021 –The Quarterfinal stage of the 21st Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship commenced on Thursday as China, Iran, Qatar, and Chinese Taipei won their matches at the Chiba Port Arena, while Bahrain, India, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia claimed victories at the Funabashi Arena.

Pool E in Chiba Port Arena

Three-time champions China silenced the crowd at Chiba Port Arena, after capturing a 3-1 (25-19, 27-29, 25-21, 25-19) victory against the host team Japan. The match-up featured a classic battle, which highlighted each team’s traditionally known strengths in power, speed and agility.

China dominated in blocks (17 points ) and service winners (8 points), with the offense distributed well amongst setter Yu Yaochen’s five hitters on the floor.

Earlier, Qatar completed a 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-21) defeat of Australia in the earlier match in Pool E. The Qatar side imposed a strong performance from the service line, sending off a total of 6 aces, and more importantly, throwing off their opponent’s passing lanes. They also reinforced their net defense, as they were able to score off a total of 12 stuff blocks in the victory.

Pool F in Chiba Port Arena

Defending champions Iran inked another win after taking 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-20) against Korea. Iran dominated on all scoring fronts, posting 43 attacks, 7 blocks, and 7 service winners.

Thursday’s match marks Iran’s fourth straight win, which places them well along the pathway toward title defense.

Chinese Taipei prevailed over Pakistan, 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 25-22),to take their fourth consecutive win in the competition. Wu Tsung-Hsuan stole the show, as he unleashed and unlocked a total of 31 points, despite the challenge of the tall blockers how confronted him.

Pool G in Funabashi Arena

India captured their first victory by winning in straight sets (25-20, 25-20, 25-20) over Kuwait.

India completed the match in Pool G, posting 43 attacks, 6 blocks, 3 aces, and they were able to limit their errors. The winning team’s Raj Mahesh Ashwin and Subham Chaudhary combined for 21 points but it was Kuwait opposite Rashed Saleh Anbar who led all scorers with 18 points.

Also in Pool G, Bahrain beat Uzbekistan in straight sets, 3-0 (25-19, 27-25, 25-19). Moahmed Anan made a match-high of 14 points, scoring off 12 attacks, a block and a service ace.

Pool H in Funabashi Arena

Kazakhstan registered their first win in the 2021 competition after defeating Thailand, 3-1 (18-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-22) in the opening match of the day at the second competition hall.

Kazakh opposite Sergey Rezanov posted 21 points purely on attacks, while Thailand’s Chaipipat Buaket, likewise scored 21 points in the loss.

Saudi Arabia staged straight sets 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-19), on Hong Kong, China. Nawaf Albakheet (18 points) and Wesam Algihani (11 points) boosted the Saudis’ offense for their second win in the competition.

Teams play another match in the Quarterfinal stage, to set up the semifinalists for Saturday’s encounter. Pool E and Pool F will contend the Final Four slots, while Pool G and Pool H play toward the 9th – 16th classification pathway.

The champion and vice-champion, to be determined in the Finals on Sunday, will directly qualify for the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship in Russia.

September 17, 2021

Match schedule (local times)

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