Bangkok Glass celebrate their stunning victory over China League champions Zhejiang.
Zhejiang’s Li Jing spikes past Bangkok Glass’ blockers.
Taiwan Power’s Lee Tzu-Ying attacks Hisamitsu Springs.
Hitsamitsu Springs’ Miyu Nagaoka drops over the Taiwan Power’s blocker.
BG set up final showdown with title-holders Hisamitsu in Asian Women’s Club Championship, fighting for World Club ticket.
Ha Nam, Vietnam, September 19, 2015 – In-form Bangkok Glass stunned China League winners Zhejiang in pulsating five sets to go up against reigning champions Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs in final showdown of the 2015 Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship, the qualification for the next year’s FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship.
Bangkok Glass, which captured two major titles in Thailand the previous season consisting the Thailand League and the Super League, overpowered unbeaten Zhejiang 25-14 17-25 25-23 19-25 15-9 in the Saturday’s semi-finals at the Ha Nam Gymnasium, while Japan’s Hisamitsu Springs produced a magnificent comeback 23-25 26-28 25-10 25-11 15-4 victory over undefeated Taiwan Power from Chinese Taipei in the other semi-final encounter.
The Bangkok Glass-Zhejiang clash turned out to be a see-saw battle, with the former taking the first and third sets and the latter the second and fourth sets. In the thrilling tie-breaker, the Thai team, fielding three national Thailand players consisting of Wilavan Apinyapong, Pleumjit Thinkaow and setter Pornpun Gurdpard, fared better, while the Chinese became more prone with their spiking attempts. The Bangkok Glass team won the decider and a final berth.
After the match, the Zhejiang’s players left the competing venue with heads low in great despair, while Bangkok Glass’ players jumped for joy, hugged one another and danced around the court. Staff coaches were also in jubilation with the stunning win over the Chinese. It was a new chapter of Thailand volleyball history that a Thai women’s club, not the national Thailand team, has come this far since the tournament’s inception in 1999.
Jutarat Montripila scored a match-high 19 points including 16 kills for Bangkok Glass, while Li Jing led Zhejiang with 29 points including 26 kills from 61 attempts.
“I can’t believe my eyes that my team will play well beyond my expectation. I would like to thank everyone who played a good part in helping win this match. I also would like to thank all supporters,the Bangkok Glass’ president and all executive members of the club,” said a happy Kittipong Pornchartyingcheep, head coach of Bangkok Glass, after the match, ahead of the following encounter between Taiwan Power and Hisamitsu.
“The Chinese also performed their upmost because they, I think, did not want to go down in straight sets or 1-3 loss to us. They had to do their best and we did the same thing. I tried my best to read the Chinese game and change several tactics against them. We have nothing to lose in the final showdown. Anything can happen in that match. Reaching the final means a historic success of the Bangkok Glass team and we don’t fear any rival no matter which team we will play in the showdown – the Japanese or the Taiwanese teams. We will try our best,” he added.
Bangkok Glass will challenge defending champions Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs in the Sunday’s final at 8pm local time. The Japanese side struggled to hit their form in the Saturday’s semi-final clash, recovering from the first two-set loss 23-25 26-28 to win the remaining three sets with ease 25-10 25-11 15-4.
Brilliant Risa Shinnabe scored a match-high 27 points for Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs including 22 kills from 44 attempts. Miyu Nagaoka assisted with 18 kills, while Chen Wan-Ting led Taiwan Power with 18 points.
“Tatjana Bokan has targeted from her serving and we could not forward from her style. We had a little bit change of players in the third set, their mind and they really did their best and we then could win the match. The key point for our win is setter Ayano Nakaoji. She is using quick with various combination styles of volleyball. Against the Thai team in the final, I think Thailand are more quick with combinations. We have to think more about serving and we have to win,” Yoichi Koto, head coach of the Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs, commented after the match.
Meanwhile, the 5th-8th playoffs saw Kazakhstan’s Zhetyssu, which finished third in the previous edition last year in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, breeze past the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix champions Petron Blaze Spikers in comfortable clash 25-17-25-18 25-20 and DPR Korea’s 4.25 Sports Club prove a cut above Thong Tin Lienvietpost Bank to beat the host side in a hard-fought three-set thriller 25-22 25-21 25-21. On Sunday, Zhetyssu will take on 4.25 Sports Club in the 5th-6th playoff and Petron Blaze Spikers battle it out with winless Thong Tin Lienvietpost Bank of Vietnam for the seventh position.
Bangkok Glass (Thailand) b Zhejiang (China) 3-2 (25-14 17-25 25-23 19-25 15-9)
Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs (Japan) b Taiwan Power (Chinese Taipei) 3-2 (23-25 26-28 25-10 25-11 15-4)
4.25 Sports Club (DPR Korea) b Thong Tin Lienvietpost Bank (Vietnam) 3-0 (25-22 25-21 25-21)
Zhetyssu (Kazakhstan) b Petron Blaze Spikers (Philippines) 3-0 (25-17 25-18 25-20)
MATCH SCHEDULE (all local times)
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2015
2pm: 7th-8th playoff: Thong Tin Lienvietpost Bank (Vietnam) v Petron Blaze Spikers (Philippines)
4pm: 5th-6th playoff: 4.25 Sports Club (DPR Korea) v Zhetyssu (Kazakhstan)
6pm: Third-play playoff: Zhejiang (China) v Taiwan Power (Chinese Taipei)
8pm: Championship match: Bangkok Glass (Thailand) v Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs (Japan)