Ninh Binh, Vietnam, July 6, 2017 – Iran’s Sarmayeh Bank were crowned champions after defeating Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza in a hard-fought three-set thriller 39-37, 25-14, 25-23 in the final showdown of the SMM 2017 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship at the Ninh Binh Gymnasium on Thursday.
Sarmaryeh Bank, which have yet to lose their matches en route to the final round, fielded a strong line-up in the final encounter.
They comprised four Iran national players Milad Ebadipour Gharah, Mohammad Mousavi Eraghi Seyed, Farhad Ghaemi and highly-experience Shahram Mahmoudi, orchestrated by former Poland national setter Lukasz Zygadlo. Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza were strengthened by Croat hard-hitting Igor Omrcen and Zhuzo Yamada.
The Japanese side, which went down to the Iranians in the playoff match in the round of last eight teams, started the opening set strongly as they took an early 10-7 lead which saw the Iranian’s coach call a timeout to adjust their tactics.
The game became more thrilling when both sides exchanged powerful attacks to score. When it was levelled at 24-24, Igor produced a terrific jump serve to give the Japanese a set point 25-24.
But the Iranians held their nerves, not giving up easily. A powerful hit from Sharam brought Sarmayeh Bank back to lead 35-34.
The score slid to 38-37 with the Iranians taking the lead. A poor first-ball reception from the Japanese libero went over the net and Seyed quickly ended the set 39-37 with his fast spike down in the middle for 1-0 lead.
The Iranians were flawless right from the start to lead 8-3 in the first technical time out of the second set before widening the gap to 16-8.
The Japanese tried to show their resistance, but they found their opponent’s aggressive attacks too difficult to handle.The Iranians captured the one-sided battle 25-14.
Sarmayeh Bank went on their momentum in the third set to take a commanding 7-3 lead. The Japanese pulled their game together and seriously challenged the much stronger opponents as they put up a good fight to level the score 23-23.
Milad scored one more point for the Iranians for a 24-23 lead before an attack from Igor missed the target, handing Sarmayeh Bank the set win 25-23, match and their back-to-back title, 12 in total for teams from Iran.
“Today it was the most important match for us. We came here to defend our title. We played many tough teams in this tournament, but we fought until the end. If we played with a lot of mistakes, we could not go this far. To win the championship is like to eat a delicious sweet cake for us. I am very happy for our team’s victory,” Sarmaryeh Bank’s head coach Mostafa Karkhaneh said after the match.
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