Taipei, Chinese Taipei, April 25, 2019 – Cultural and Sports Club of Varamin Municipality underlined their supremacy over the 2019 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship after an epic comeback 3-2 win against Japan’s Panasonic Panthers in an action-packed final showdown at the University of Taipei (Tianmu) Gymnasium on Friday.
The hard-fought 25-20 25-16 22-25 20-25 16-14 win not only gave Varamin a sweet revenge for their 2-3 loss to the Japanese side in the top-8 playoff match last week but also stretched title-holders Iran’s domination at the topflight competition to 14 overall including four times in a row.
Since the championship’s inception in 1999 in Hefei, China, Iran has made it to the final round in15 editions. Their first debut final showdown dated back to 2000 in Suphanburi, Thailand, when they picked up silver medal after going down to Korea’s Samsung Fire.
After that, teams from Iran played in the final for additional 14 editions – 2002 and 2004, 2005-2011, 2013-2014 and 2016-2018. Among these overall 15 editions teams from Iran had made it to the final round, they captured 13 Asian Men’s Club Championship titles altogether – Paykan Tehran (7 titles), Sarmayeh Bank Tehran (2), Sanam Tehran (1), Kalleh Mazandaran (1), Matin Varamin (1), Khatam Ardakan (1).
Iran are defending and successive three-time champions in this championship, with Sarmayeh Bank Tehran winning in 2016 and 2017 and Khatam Ardakan reigning supreme in 2018. With the stunning 3-2 win against Panthers on Friday, Varamin became the seventh club team from Iran to compete in the final showdown and won the title.
The Varamin’s victory on Friday also smashed Panthers’ dreams of making history of handing Japan the Asian Men’s Club title for the first time. Since Japan’s debut efforts in 1999, teams from Japan had yet won a title in this championship.
Suntory Sunbirds picked up silver for Japan in 2001 in Shehong, China after going down 0-3 to Korea’s Samsung Fire in the final clash. Sixteen years later, Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza, the second team from Japan in history to reach the final, lost in straight sets to Iran’s Sarmayeh Bank Tehran in the 2017 showdown in Nam Dinh and Ninh Binh, Vietnam. Panasonic Panthers became the third team from Japan to come this far to the final, but still missed it as they suffered a 2-3 loss at the hands of Varamin.
Earlier, Qatar’s Rayyan picked up bronze at the 2019 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship after a 3-0 (25-23 25-19 25-16) demolition of India’s Chennai Spartans in the third-place playoff, gaining a sweet revenge for the 2-3 loss to the tough rivals in the pool round-robin preliminary match last week.
In the 5th-6th playoff match, Sri Lanka Ports Authority Sports Club, powered by Janitha Surath and Lasindu Wasanthapriya, survived a sturdy challenge from Taichung Bank to pull off a magnificent five-set win 25-16 20-25 26-24 19-25 15-9 to return with the fifth place, leaving the host side to claim 6th position.
Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City shrugged off their dismal start to edge past Australia’s Queensland Pirates in closely-contested five-setter 22-25 25-22 26-24 21-25 15-11 to finish 7th place. Aussies came in 8th position.
At the awards presentation, the eventual winners Cultural and Sports Club of Varamin Municipality captured the Championship trophy, while Panasonic Panthers and Al-Rayyan, second and third place respectively, also received trophies.
1. Cultural and Sports Club of Varamin Municipality (Iran)
2. Panasonic Panthers (Japan)
3. Al-Rayyan (Qatar)
4. Chennai Spartans (India)
5. Sri Lanka Ports Authority Sports Club (Sri Lanka)
6. Taichung Bank (Chinese Taipei)
7. Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
8. Queensland Pirates (Australia)
9. Polri Samator Indonesia (Indonesia)
10. Est Cola (Thailand)
11. TNC Kazchrome VC (Kazakhstan)
12. Galkan (Turkmenistan)
13. Dragon Team (Hong Kong China)
14. Club Singapore (Singapore)
BEST OUTSIDE SPIKER: Michal Kubiak (Panasonic Panthers) and Marcus Costa (Al-Rayyan)
BEST MIDDLE BLOCKER: Mohammad Razipoor (Varamin) and Rai Ashwal (Chennai Spartans)
BEST OPPOSITE SPIKER: Kunihiro Shimizu (Panasonic Panthers)
BEST SETTER: Parviz Pezeshki (Varamin)
BEST LIBERO: Takeshi Nagano (Panasonic Panthers)
MVP: Alireza Julali (Varamin)
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