Ninh Binh, Vietnam, July 6, 2017 – Qatar’s Al Arabi Sports Club avenged the first-round loss to Altay VC, beating the Kazakh side with a comeback 3-1 (22-25 25-13 25-20 25-19) win to grab the third place at the SMM 2017 Asian Men’s Volleyball Club Championship at the Ninh Binh Gymnasium on Thursday.
The first set turned out to be a close battle when both teams played with the similar level until the score was tied at 16-16. Ukrainian Alexandre Stolnikov produced some well-placed serves to bring the Kazakhs back to lead 21-19 and 24-22. Another Ukrainian, wing spiker Vasyl Tupchii, helped Altay close the set with his powerful attack 25-22.
Conceding one set, Al Arabi started the second set with explosions from the service line. Terrific jump serves from Gyory Grozer caused a big threat to the Kazakh defence.
They took an initial 15-7 lead and stretched it to 22-11. Grozer was simply unstoppable with his feisty attacks and serves and helped the team take the set 25-13.
Al Arabi’s coach changed some tactics by replacing Oliva Salvador Hidalgo with Angel Miguel and things went well for the Qatar’s side as they stormed on to win the next two sets 25-20, 25-19.
German Grozer Gyorgy scored a match-high 29 points for Al Arabi Sports Club, while Mohammed Ibrahim added 12 points. Vasyl Tupchii led Altay VC with 16 points and Vitaliy Vorivodin contributed 11 points.
“We had a very tough match against Iran in the semi-finals yesterday, so today we don’t have any choice. We tried to do our best as we wanted to take a bronze medal and join the podium.That is why we are motivated today.We played well after the first set loss.I sent Miguel into the court and he did a good job.I am very happy that we finally won the match,”Al Arabi’s head coach Lajnef Maaouia said after the match.
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