Ulanbaataar, Mongolia, May 22, 2017 – It must be a lucky day for spectators as two five-set thrillers were presented when Japan and Korea prevailed respectively on Day 3 of 2017 Asian Eastern Zonal Men’s Volleyball Championship at Buyant-Uhaa Sports Arena on Monday.
With the concerted cheering from a group of supporters waving their national flags, DPR Korea fully showed their fighting spirit as an army team and forced title-holders Japan to play all their cards to a narrow victory in the 135-minute five setters. The set scores are 22-25, 26-24, 22-25, 25-22 and 11-15. With an unbeaten record, Japan topped the Pool B while DPR Korea were ranked third with 1-2 record.
The final match of preliminary round was marked by another five-set thriller co-performed by hosts Mongolia and Korea, even if both teams had already secured their berths in the semi-finals ahead of time. Mongolia once saw the chance to victory but stubborn Koreans finally let them down by a cliff-hanging 3-2 (19-25, 30-28, 25-21, 22-25, 15-9) win.
The first set saw thousands of host supporters boo the Koreans while they were serving. And it worked well as Koreans committed several serve errors to yield the first set in 19-25.
Mongolia kept the momentum to the second set as they led all the way from 8-6 at the first technical time-out to 16-13 at the second. They even widened the gap up to 19-14, however, the Koreans became concentrated and gradually chased up. Following a serve error by opponent, Korea evened the score at 21-21 for the first time and thereafter they missed several chances to finish the set, seeing the balance kept till 27-27. Mongolia also had a good opportunity as Saikhanbaatar did an excellent block to regain the lead in 28-27. But their serve error destroyed themselves and Korea never let the chance fly away. In 30-28, Korea won the set in a tough and thrilling way.
Both sides kept stuck to each other in the third set but a rotation mistake ruined the host, changing the situation from 21-21 to 20-22. Korea seized the chance to claim another set in 25-21.
Despite a 0-2 start in the fourth set, Mongolia fought back to establish up to a 6-point lead at 18-12. Korea miraculously chased up to 21-23 behind, showing their unwillingness to the fifth set. But something was doomed as Altangerel put on a quick attack to finish the set in 25-22, sending both sides to the tie breaker.
Mongolia resisted till 8-8 tie but they were not able to soldier on. Following a powerful spike by Kim Junyoung from the right wing, Korea sealed the set in 15-9 to declare the end of such a gruelling 125-minute battle.
In the opening match of the day, Chinese Taipei did not meet any big challenges from Hong Kong to claim a straight-set 25-15, 25-16, 25-17 win to slot themselves in the second place of Pool B. Again Huang Chien-Feng had a remarkable performance as he contributed several impressive ace serves.
Tuesday is the rest day. The championship resumes in the semi-finals on Wednesday featuring Korea taking on Chinese Taipei and hosts Mongolia challenging Japan. The winners will have the gold-medal match, while the two losers will battle it out for the bronze medal on Thursday.
The Asian Eastern Zonal Men’s Volleyball Championship is a biennial official competition of the AVC Eastern Zonal Volleyball Association. The championship this year 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. The last edition was also held in Ulanbaataar of Mongolia with Japan claiming the title, Chinese Taipei finishing runners-up and Korea in third place.
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 – Macao, China 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-9)
14:00 Chinese Taipei – DPR Korea 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-21)
16:00 Opening Ceremony
17:00 Mongolia – Macao, China 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-17)
19:00 Japan – Hong Kong, China 3-0 (25-10, 25-18, 25-16)
15:00 Chinese Taipei – Hong Kong, China 3-0 (25-15,25-16, 25-17)
17:00 DPR Korea – Japan 2-3 (22-25, 26-24, 22-25, 25-22, 11-15)
19:00 Mongolia – Korea 2-3 (25-19, 28-30, 21-25, 25-22, 9-15)
15:00 Macao, China – Hong Kong, China
17:00 Korea – Chinese Taipei
19:00 Japan – Mongolia
11:00 Macao, China – DPR Korea
13:00 Bronze Medal Match
15:00 Gold Medal Match
Related links of AVC
AVC Website: click www.asianvolleyball.net
AVC Facebook: click www.Facebook.com/
AVC Twitter: click: https://twitter.com/avcvolley
AVC Instagram: click: https://www.instagram.com/
AVC Youtube: click: Asian Volleyball Confederation