Ninh Binh, Vietnam, June 28, 2017 – Hosts Vietnam Sports Club came back from one set down to beat Al-Bahri Sport Club from Iraq in a tightly-contested four-set battle 22-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-23 in their SMM 2017 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship opener at the Ninh Binh Gymnasium on Wednesday.
Powerful Jameel Nasser Aseel steered Al –Bahri Sport Club to a first-set win 25-22 before the host side ruled the roost.
Backed by over 1,000 spectators at the venue, the host team did not give up easily as they stormed back to win the remaining three sets 25-20, 25-21, 25-23.
Middle blocker Nguyen Hoang Thuong scored a match-high 20 points including 16 kills from 22 attempts, while Tu Thanh Thuan added 18 points. Jameel Nasser Aseel led Al-Bahri Sport Club with 17 points.
“My players played nervously in the first set as this is their first match in the tournament, while our opponents played very well. They are tall with high blocks. We tried to adjust ourselves by playing quick game in the following three sets and things got better. Our middle blocker Nguyen Hoang Thouong played a good match as he scored many crucial points,” Phung Cong Hung, head coach of Vietnam Sports Club, said after the match.
“Although we trained together for four months ahead of this championship, we have yet to think how far we can go in this tournament. However, we will try to win one match a time and try to advance to the next round. I would like to thank the Vietnamese fans who cheered us. We will try our best in this tournament,” he added.
The host team will have a rest day on Thursday and are scheduled to next play Sri Lanka Ports Authority in their Pool A preliminary match
“The Sri Lankans are very strong with some experienced players. I think it is going to be a tough match, but we will try our best,” Phung Cong Hung concluded.
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