Ninh Binh, Vietnam, June 27, 2017 – Everything is set for the SMM 2017 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship from June 28 to July 6, with Thailand’s Air Force VC challenging Japan’s Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza in the opening Pool D encounter at the Ninh Binh Gymnasium on Wednesday.
Thirteen teams have all arrived in the Ninh Binh province, ready to kick off their campaigns in an effort of claiming the eventual title and the lone berth to contest the next year’s FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship.
Pool A comprises hosts Vietnam Sports Club, Iraq’s Al-Bahri Sport Club and Sri Lanka Ports Authority, while reigning champions Bank Sarmayeh from Iran and Taichung Commercial Bank from Chinese Taipei are in Pool B. Pool C consists of Qatar’s Al Arabi Sports Club, Altay VC from Kazakhstan, Yan Chai from Hong Kong and Australia’s Canberra Heat, with Japan’s Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza, Thailand’s Air Force, China Beijing Baic Motor and Maldivian Sports & Recreation Club in Pool D.
The pool round-robin preliminaries will be held from June 28 to 30, with only top two teams from each pool advancing to the round of last eight teams. Teams finishing third and fourth places in each pool will be relegated to 9th-13th classification round.
On Wednesday, the first day of the top-tier competition, Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza will take on Air Force VC at the Ninh Binh Gymnasium, followed by the match between Al Arabi Sports Club and Canberra Heat. The clash between Vietnam Sports Club and Al-Bahri Sport Club will be the last to be contested at the venue on Wednesday. At the Nam Dinh Gymnasium, the first match sees Altay VC play Yan Chai, with China Beijing Baic Motor facing Maldivian Sports & Recreation Club.
Meanwhile, the General Technical Meeting took place on Tuesday, with Mr Tran Duc Phan, chairman of the organising committee, presiding. Head coaches and staff coaches from all participating teams also joined the meeting to make sure everything is set and on the right track ahead of the kickoff of the competition on Wednesday.
At night, the welcome dinner was held for all participating teams, officials and distinguished guests at The Reed Hotel. Representatives from each team received souvenirs from the host province, while performers satisfied all participants with beautiful songs and traditional dance shows.
In terms of the referees to officiate the tournament, a total of 11 accompanying referees have been assigned to their duties in the nine-day competition. They comprised Mr Hung Pai-Jen (Chinese Taipei), Mr Doszhan Ualkhanov (Kazakhstan), Mr Komsan Gettaworn (Thailand), Mr Wong Chi Chor (Hong Kong), Mr Michael Fitzpatrick (Australia), Mr Kuwabara Kensuke (Japan), Mr Wang Hong (China), Mr Alireza Gharib (Iran), Mr Hamzah Hakim Abdulridha (Iraq0, Mr Abdullah Almansoori (Qatar) and Mr Nguyen Quoc Huy (Vietnam).
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