Ulanbaataar, Mongolia, May 20, 2017 – Both DPR Korea and Korea took easy straight set wins over Hong Kong and Macao respectively, while title-holders Japan met some obstacles in sealing a 3-1 victory against stubborn Chinese Taipei on the opening day of 2017 Asian Eastern Zonal Men’s Volleyball Championship held at Buyant-Uhaa Sports Arena.
The opening match, starting at 2pm local time, saw Hong Kong fully overwhelmed by DPR Korea. Although Hong Kong called several time-outs for adjustments, DPR Korea quickly concluded the match with 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-14) win in 61 minutes, with captain Jon Kyong Ho firing a powerful hit to win the final point.
Chinese Taipei scored the first point from a successful blocking, but they gradually trapped themselves from their own mistakes. An error in spiking helped Japan reach the first technical time-out in 8-4. Though Chinese Taipei tried to serve destructively, Japan could always handle well by turning the passive situation to a score. The gap was maintained within 4 to 6 points but safe for Japan to close the first set 25-19.
Chinese Taipei turned tougher in the second set as they caught up with Japan almost all the times. They even took a narrow 8-7 lead at the first technical time-out but their mistakes at crucial moments yielded themselves to inferiority. A spiking error by Huang Chien-Feng marked the end of second set 21-25.
Chinese Taipei fought back in the third set as they took a commanding 7-4 lead in the beginning. However, Japan replied with a 5-0 wave to reverse the situation to a 9-7 lead. Both sides stuck to each other until the second technical time-out with Japan leading 16-15. Several serve errors were made by Japan and Chinese Taipei took the opportunity to widen the gap. Following another serve error by Japan, Chinese Taipei captured the third set 25-21.
Japan never gave any chance to Chinese Taipei in the fourth set as they quickly established a 12-6 lead. Although Chinese Taipei called time-outs for some adjustment, Japan firmly controlled the advantage to a 25-17 win in the fourth set and grabbed a 3-1 victory in 93 minutes.
Macao and Korea made a serve error respectively in the beginning. However Macao quickly showed their disadvantages in front of the well-organized Koreans, although they cheered loudly for every good play they did. A powerful spike by Kim Hongchan from back row helped Korea end the one-sided match 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-9) only in 60 minutes.
The pool round-robin preliminaries will continue to Monday while hosts Mongolia will make their debut on Sunday afternoon against Macao after the opening ceremony.
The Asian Eastern Zonal Men’s Volleyball Championship is a biennial official competition of AVC Eastern Zonal Volleyball Association. The championship, which will be held from May 20 to 25, 2017, serves as a celebration for the 90th anniversary of the development of volleyball in Mongolia and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Mongolian Volleyball Association this year. Last edition was also held in Ulanbaataar of Mongolia with Japan claiming the title, Chinese Taipei finished runners-up, with Korea in third place.
Match schedule and results:
15:00 Hong Kong, China – DPR Korea 0-3 (11-25, 17-25, 14-25)
17:00 Japan – Chinese Taipei 3-1 (25-19, 25-21, 21-25, 25-17)
19:00 Korea – Macau, China 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-9)
14:00 Chinese Taipei – DPR Korea
16:00 Opening Ceremony
17:00 Mongolia – Macau, China
19:00 Japan – Hong Kong, China
15:00 Chinese Taipei – Hong Kong, China
17:00 DPR Korea – Japan
19:00 Mongolia – Korea
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