Surabaya, Indonesia, July 26, 2017 – Pakistan registered their first win at the SMM 19th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship after defeating Iraq in dramatic four sets 26-24 25-17 17-25 25-22 at the Wahana Ekspresi Poesponegoro Gymnasium on Wednesday.
Both Pakistan and Iraq have yet won a match in the top-tier tournament, going down to Chinese Taipei and Iran in their first two matches of Pool B. Suffering successive two losses, both sides have already been relegated to the 9th-16th classification round. The last preliminary encounter between Pakistan and Iraq on Wednesday served as a match to determine a better position in their pool.
Aimal Khan scored a match-high 27 points for Pakistan including 23 kills from 47 attempts and 2 kill blocks, while Murad Jehan contributed 11 attack hits. Shamil Nameer led Iraq with 21 points from 16 kills, 3 blocks and 2 aces.
“We had a tough match against Iraq. They are a strong team. While competing against them, we have to analyse strategies how to cope well with their tactics. I think my players played well in this match, not only in service, but also in coordination among them. We next will take on Hong Kong and Thailand. Thailand are very strong, but we have to play our best to seek our best position in the playoffs,” Pakistan’s Iranian head coach Movahedi Hamid commented after the match.
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