Surabaya, Indonesia, July 31, 2017 – China, disappointed with the 1-3 loss in the top-eight playoff match to Chinese Taipei, took revenge on the same rivals on Monday following their convincing 25-22 25-19 25-23 victory in the 5th-8th playoff encounter at the SMM 19th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship at the Tri Dharma Petrokimia Gymnasium.
China, bronze medalists at the previous Asian meet in Tehran, Iran two years ago and fifth place at the FIVB World League Group 2 this season, fielded the same line-up which succumbed to a 0-3 defeat to Korea in the quarter-finals on Sunday including powerful Liu Libin, Jiang Chuan and Ji Daoshuai. Chinese Taipei were spearheaded by left-hander W Tsung-Hsuan and twin brothers Liu Hung-Min and Liu Hung-Jie.
China opened up aggressively, playing an impenetrable defence with solid blocks led by the two towers Rao Shuhan and Jiang Chuan, both stand the similar 205cm tall. Liu Libin and Jiang Chuan took turns overcoming the smaller blockers with heavy attacks. China took the first two sets 25-22 25-19.
Holding 0-2 disadvantage, Chinese Taipei fought hard in the third set with an aim of bringing good things back on track. Still, despite putting up a good show, Chinese Taipei found the tall and towering Chinese a tough nut to crack. Taking a slender 23-21 lead for good, China went on their exceptional form to capture the hard-fought set 25-23 and match.
With the scintillating win, China will next battle it out with Iran, the team they had beaten in straight sets in the top-eight playoff match, for the fifth place. Chinese Taipei and Australia will face off in the 7th-8th playoff match.
“Today, we played better. Our players attacked and blocked Chinese Taipei effectively and that’s what counts for our team’s victory. We lost to them in the previous match because our blocking did not work out properly and that foiled our attempts to fight back. After the Asian Championship here, we have to prepare our team for the World Championship AVC Qualifier Pool A in Iran next month,” China’s head coach Raul Lozano commented after the match.
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