Ninh Binh, Vietnam, June 28, 2017 – Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza, Beijing Baic Motor, Al Arabi, Altay and Vietnam Sports Club registered their first wins at the SMM 2017 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship, which kicked off simultaneously on Wednesday at two competition sites in Ninh Binh and Nam Dinh.
At the Ninh Binh Gymnasium, Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza from Japan pulled off a convincing 3-0 (25-17, 27-25, 25-20) victory over Thailand’s Air Force VC in their opener.
Toyoda Gosei, runners-up at the Japan’s V. Premier League this recent and bronze medalists at the previous edition in Myanmar, got off to a brilliant start to win the opening set 25-17 without much effort. However, the Japanese side faced a daunting task in the second set when Air Force fought back bravely. Still, Toyoda Gosei stormed on to win the closely-contested battle 27-25. The third set was also dominated by Toyoda Gosei, to win comfortably 25-20.
“It was a great opening day to win the first match. The first game of the tournament is always interesting as I had a chance to obtain good information about my team and the team we are playing. I could see everyone in my team play and learn after that what to improve. In deed, we started well with good energy. I am happy to find that my team really worked together and teamwork worked out pretty well,” Finnish Tommi Tiilikainen, head coach of Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza, commented after the match.
“For me, this is my first tournament with this team as a coach. I want to try my best. Last year was a result. I think everyone in the team still has the same goal – to win the tournament. The goal remains unchanged this time. I would love to be part of it. I am really excited for the next match against team from Maldives. We will do our best,” he added.
In the second match, Qatar’s Al Arabi Sports Club , silver medallists at the previous episode, proved too strong for Canberra Heat to storm past the unfancied Australians in comprehensive straight sets 25-15, 25-18, 25-21.
Vietnam Sports Club also delighted home fans with fantastic comeback 3-1 (22-25 25-20 25-21 25-23) win over Iraq’s Al-Bahri Sport Club in Pool A.
Meanwhile, two encounters were contested at the Nam Dinh Gymnasium on Wednesday. Kazakhstan’s Altay VC saw off Yan Chai from Hong Kong in straight sets 25-15 25-21 25-20 in Pool C. Vastly Tupchii led Altay with 11 points including 8 kills and 2 ace serves. Lee Man Sing was the only player who scored double digits for Yan Chai after scoring the highest 16 points, all of them from his devastating attacks.
In the Pool D clash, China’s Beijing Baic Motor had a field day in their opening match against Maldivian Sports and Recreation Club when the Chinese side downed the Maldivian team with a sensational 3-0 (25-11 25-9 25-23) win.
Yin Jie handed China Beijing Baic Motor 15 crucial points for the Chines side’s comfortable win. Wang Chen, another player who scored double digits, added 12 points. Said Ismail led Maldivian Sports & Recreation Club with 9 points.
Three matches will be contested on Thursday at the Ninh Binh Gymnasium, Thailand’s Air Force will go up against China Beijing Baic Motor, with Qatar’s Al Arabi taking on Hong Kong’s Yan Chai and Iraq’s Al-Bahri Sport Club playing Sri Lanka Ports Authority. The remaining three encounters will take place at the Nam Dinh Gymnasium, with Australia’s Canberra Heat facing Kazakhstan’s Altay. Japan’s Toyoda Gosei Trenfuerza will meet Maldivian Sports & Recreation Club and reigning champions Bank Sarmayeh from Iran will be pitted against Chinese Taipei’s Taichung Commercial Bank.
Pool A: Vietnam Sports Club (Vietnam) b Al-Bahri Sport Club (Iraq) 3-1 (22-25 25-20 25-21 25-23)
Pool C: Altay VC (Kazakhstan) b Yan Chai (Hong Kong) 3-0 (25-15 25-21 25-20); Al Arabi (Qatar) b Canberra Heat (Australia) 3-0 (25-15 25-18 25-21)
Pool D: Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza (Japan) b Air Force (Thailand) 3-0 (25-17 27-25 25-20); Beijing Baic Motor (China) b Maldivian Sports & Recreation Club (Maldives) 3-0 (25-11 25-9 25-23)
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