Surabaya, Indonesia, July 26, 2017 – In-form Indonesia produced a magnificent comeback 3-2 (24-26 14-25 25-20 25-21 15-11) victory over Qatar in their last Pool A encounter of the SMM 19th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship, delighting boisterous fans packing the Tri Dharma Petrokimia Gymnasium on Wednesday with a guarantee that the host side have already made the cut for the top eight teams and an opportunity to play till the end of the final day on August 2.
With over 3,500 noisy home fans boosting their team’s morale, Indonesia, powered by ace spiker Rendy Febrant Tamamilang, gave it all-out in the opening set against stronger Qatar side, fourth place at the previous Asian meet in Iran. The hosts went down in a closely-contested set 24-26 and suffered the 14-25 loss in the one-sided second set.
Conceding consecutive two-set losses, Indonesia gradually pulled their game together in the third set, with Rendy Tamamilang penetrating the Qatari defence with his sharp attacks to help the host team win 25-20. Winning one set made Indonesia immensely grow in their confidence. They started to play better and better defensively and offensively to win the fourth set 25-21.
Nothing could stop Indonesia from doing the best thing in the tie-breaker and the host side just kept the best for last as their gallant, consistent play amazed the rivals and the spectators. Indonesia won the heart-pounding decider 15-11 and match.
Rendy Febriant Tamamilang scored a match-high 23 points for the Indonesia’s triumph including 19 kills from 38 attempts and 3 ace serves. Rivan Nurmulki contributed the similar 19 kills from 38 kills plus 3 kill blocks. Began Dukic led Qatar with 18 points, 16 of them from powerful attack hits.
With the win, Indonesia booked a berth for the round of the top eight teams. It has also guaranteed the Indonesians an eligibility to contest the next year’s AVC Cup for Men, the biennial tournament held one year after the Asian Championship which sees only top eight teams from the Asian meet vie for the title.
Indonesia’s best performance in the Asian Senior Men’s Championship was 6th place in 1975, 1991, 1999 and 2009.
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