Zhangjiagang, China, July 20, 2019 – Hosts China and Chinese Taipei remained undefeated to set for title clash at 2019 AVC Eastern Zone Men’s Volleyball Championship after edging Korea and Hong Kong China respectively at Zhangjiagang Sports Centre on Saturday.
The first match saw Chinese Taipei prevail over Hong Kong China 3-1 (25-15, 21-25, 25-20, 25-20). Facing the unbeaten opponents, Hong Kong China met up with troubles from the beginning and fell behind 5-8 at the first technical timeout. With all the players into a groove, Chinese Taipei pulled away and widened the gap to 8 points at the second technical timeout. Allowing Hong Kong China no chance to blow back, Chinese Taipei took the first set by a remarkable 25-15.
Chinese Taipei kept their momentum going in the second set and hammered down a 3-0 lead at the beginning. But Hong Kong China soon came into burst and chased to 7-8 behind at the first technical timeout. Both sides kept matched with each other before Hong Kong China surprised the spectators with an outburst in the end to conclude the set 25-21.
Chinese Taipei became more concentrated in the following two sets and finally finished the match 3-1 (25-15, 21-25, 25-20 25-20).
Winless Macau China fully showed their willingness to register their maiden victory in the match against DPR Korea as they struggled five sets and finally had to yield 2-3 (25-23, 14-25, 25-23, 16-25, 12-15).
DPR Korea started with a powerful spike and soon occupied a 6-2 lead. Macau China called a timeout and they managed to maintain the gap within four points at the second technical timeout. Leong Ka Him surprisingly emitted continuous five destructive serves including two aces to help Macau China end the first set 25-23.
The second set turned a totally different situation even though Macau China led to the first technical timeout 8-6. Following several nice spikes by DPR Korea, they retook the lead and found their rhythm back. Macau China were not able to produce any troubles before the Koreans wrapped up the set by 25-14.
Both sides made it a seesaw battle in the third set and finally Macau China grasped the chance to changeover the set 25-23.
Unwilling to lose the match, DPR Korea strengthened their offence and defense in the fourth set. Macau China committed more errors and handed the set 16-25.
The tie-breaker saw Macau China struggle to find the opponent’s weakness. But a service error ruined themselves and sent DPR Korea to the final victory 15-12.
Unbeaten China confronted with their strongest challenge ever from determined Korea but they managed to survive in the five-set thriller in 22-25, 26-24, 26-24, 20-25, 15-10.
The hosts made a slow start as they committed several service errors. Two aces in a row by Kim Jae Hoon helped Korea seal the first set 25-22.
China still could not effectively reduce their mistakes in the following two sets but good serves and spikes prevented them from the disaster. Yu Yuantai and Liu Xiangdong stood out with impressive attacks and led China to narrow 26-24 26-24 wins in the second and third sets.
Learning lessons from the upset loss in the previous two sets, Korea soon took control of the fourth set by breaking the defense of China and smoothly secured the set 25-20.
In the decider, China regained the absolute superiority from the beginning with louder and louder cheering from the spectators. They eventually ended the set 15-10 and the intense match 3-2.
On the final day Sunday, two winless teams of Macau China and Hong Kong China will meet and fight for the fifth place; Korea and DPR Korea, with two wins and two losses similarly, will battle for the bronze medal; while both unbeaten teams Chinese Taipei and China will set for title clash of the AVC Eastern Zone Men’s Volleyball Championship 2019.
The AVC Eastern Zone Men’s Volleyball Championship is a biennial competition of AVC Eastern Zone. With the participation of six teams from Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong China, Macau China, Korea, DPR Korea and hosts China, the championship this year applies round robin system.
It is for the first time that Zhangjiagang hosts the men’s championship since the city has successfully organized the women’s championship in 2016 and 2018. Also the city will continue to host the AVC Eastern Zone Women’s Championship 2020 as it was confirmed in the AVC Eastern Zonal Volleyball Association Annual Conference, which was held here on July 19.
Zhangjiagang is China’s National Health City, National Eco City and National Civilized City. It was recognized as International Garden City by UNEP in 2005 and was awarded the UN Habitat Scroll of Honor in 2008. Besides, Zhangjiagang is a city fond of volleyball. Many volleyball events, like National volleyball Grand Prix and International Volleyball Challenge, have been held in Zhangjiagang.
MATCH RESULTS AND MATCH SCHEDULE
Korea b Macao, China 3-0(25-19, 25-5, 25-9), Chinese Taipei b DPR Korea 3-1 (25-23,22-25,25-20, 25-15), China b Hong Kong, China 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-15)
14:00 Chinese Taipei b Korea 3-1 (25-20, 27-29, 25-22, 25-23)
16:00 DPR Korea b Hong Kong, China 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 26-24)
19:00 China b Macao, China 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-15)
14:00 Chinese Taipei b Macao, China 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-21)
16:00 Korea b Hong Kong, China 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-11)
19:00 China b DPR Korea 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-21)
July 19 Rest day
Chinese Taipei b Hong Kong, China 3-1 (25-15, 21-25, 25-20 25-20)
DPR Korea b Macao, China 3-2 (23-25, 25-14, 23-25, 25-16, 15-12)
China b Korea 3-2 (22-25, 26-24, 26-24, 20-25, 15-10)
14:00 DPR Korea vs Korea
16:00 Hong Kong, China vs Macau China
19:00 China vs Chinese Taipei
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