Ninh Binh, Vietnam, June 29, 2017 – China’s Beijing Baic Motor survived a scare to beat Thailand’s Air Force VC in a hard-fought five-set thriller 25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 16-25, 15-12 at the SMM 2017 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship at the Ninh Binh Gymnasium on Thursday.
With two straight wins in Pool D, Beijing Baic Motor, which thrashed Maldivian Sports & Recreation Club in straight sets the previous day, have already clinched a berth to the round of the last eight teams.
Air Force, which went down in straight sets to Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza from Japan the previous day, needed a win over the Chinese team to keep their hopes of advancing to the round of eight teams alive. However, Beijing Baic Motor completely smashed the Thais’ sweet dreams.
China Beijing Baic Motor made a superb start to win successive two sets 25-18, 25-21. Air Force gradually pulled their game together and roared back aggressively to win the third and fourth sets 25-23, 25-16. In the deciding set, Beijing Baic Motor started well to lead 5-2 and 14-12. Uranan Buadang’s fierce attack could not overcome a triple block of the Chinese side. Beijing Baic Motor took the set 15-12 and their second win.
Yin Jie topscored for Beijing Baic Motor after amassing 21 points, while Wang Chen added 16 points. Jirayu Raksakaew and Kissada Nilsawai led Air Force with 20 points apiece.
“We played well in the first two sets, but in the third and fourth sets we lost steam and the Thai team started to play better. In the fifth set, we had a good start and were able to take advantage of our opponents’s errors. I’m very happy that we finally won this match,” Beijing Baic Motor’s head coach Mu Li commented after the match.
“We prepared well before this tournament. We have four players who are playing in the China national team, but this time some of them could not join us, so it is very hard for us in this tournament,” he added.
Beijing Baic Motor will next challenge Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza to decide the winners of Pool D on Friday. However, due to their straight two wins in the pool, both sides have already qualified for the round of the last eight teams in the nine-day championship. Despite one remaining match against Maldivian Sports & Recreation Club on Friday, Air Force VC have succumbed to two defeats and are sure of contesting the 9th-13th classification round.
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