Ninh Binh, Vietnam, July 4, 2017 – Defending champions Sarmayeh Bank of Iran became the first team to get through to the semi-finals after producing an impressive display of power to defeat Al- Bahri of Iraq 3-1 (25-12, 25-13, 23-25, 25-16) in the quarter-finals at the SMM 2017 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship at the Ninh Binh Gymnasium on Tuesday.
Spearheaded by promising Milad Ebadipour Gharah, Farhad Ghaemi and highly-experienced Shahram Mahmoudi, Sarmayeh Bank made a solid start to win the one-sided first set 25-12.The Iranians continued their brilliant performance defensively and offensively to take a commanding 16-5 lead in the second set before widening the gap to 24-12. An error serve from Omar Ali Ahmed handed the Iranian club the 25-13 win.
Holding a 2-0 advantage, the Iranian side fielded substitutions to the court, but their game plan did not work out properly. The Iraqis came back on track with drastically-improved teamwork and consistency to take the 16-11 lead.
The Iranian coach brought back key players in an effort of making amends. The Iraqi side did not let the golden chance slip through their fingers as they stormed on to close out the set 25-23. Things turned sour for Al-Bahri Sport Club in the fourth set when the Iranians dominated from start to finish to capture the set 25-16, match and a semi-final berth.
Shahram Mahmoudi was the Sarmayeh Bank’s top scorer with 16 points, while Farhad Ghaemi added 13 points. Omar Ali Ahmed led Al-Bahri Sport Club with 14 points and Ali Qasim Dahham added 12 points.
“We did not have a tough game today. But in the third set, I just wanted to give my players from the bench a chance to play more. I am very happy that we get through to the semi-finals,” Sarmayeh Bank’s head coach Mostafa Karkhaneh commented after the match.
“The next game is going to be more difficult for us. We will play the winners between Taichung Commercial Bank and Al Arabi SC. We already played against the Chinese Taipei team, but we have not yet played against the Qataris. Both teams are very strong. We will have to analyze their game plan and prepare ourselves well for the next match. We will try our best to win the match,” he added.
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