Dhaka, Bangladesh, November 13, 2019 – Nepal powered past Maldives in comfortable straight sets to capture the top spot after completion of the single round-robin preliminaries of the “Bangamata” 2019 Asian Senior Women’s Central Zone Volleyball Championship at Shaheed Suhrawardi Indoor Stadium in Mirpur here.
In their last preliminary match on Wednesday, Nepal proved too mach for Maldives to brush off the rivals in a one-sided affair 25-14 25-5 25-13 in 55 minutes to stay at the top of the standing and advance to the final clash with a remarkable unbeaten record without dropping a set to their respective rivals.
Pratibha Mali scored a match-high 18 points for Nepal including 15 attacks from 25 attempts and one block, while Saraswoti Chaudhari added 13 points including 10 attacks from 21 attempts and Reshma Bhandari scored 7 points including a team-leading 6 aces. Hawwa Rashidha led Maldives with 5 points through her impressive attacks.
In the second match, Bangladesh produced a fantastic comeback in a tough match against Kyrgyzstan, going down the first two sets to pull off a surprise 3-2 win 9-25 15-25 25-21 25-17 15-11. Most Sabina Khatun chipped in with 16 points including 13 attacks from 48 attempts, while Bithe added 11 points including a team-leading 4 aces. Kamila Omorbekova topscored with 16 points including a team-leading 6 aces for Kyrgyzstan.
At conclusion of the five-day single round-robin competition on Wednesday, Nepal topped the 5-team standing with unchallenged 12 points from 4 straight wins. Maldives finished second with 8 points from 3 wins against one loss. Hosts Bangladesh came in third position with 5 points from 2 wins against 2 losses, while Kyrgyzstan finished fourth with 5 points from one win against 3 losses. Afghanistan did not win a set to lose all four matches in the round-robin tournament to crash out of the competition.
With the top two teams from the preliminaries setting up a final clash, unbeaten Nepal and Maldives will play a rematch on Thursday in a final showdown to vie for gold medal. The teams finishing third and fourth places will also contest the third-place playoff, resulting in hosts Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan to fight it out for bronze medal on Thursday.
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