Ninh Binh, Vietnam, July 2, 2017 – In-form Sarmayeh Bank from Iran stayed in contention for the title as the defending champions pulled off a dramatic 3-1 (25-14 19-25 25-18 25-15) win over Beijing Baic Motor, while title-hotshots Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza came from behind to beat Taichung Commercial Bank at their 1st-8th playoff encounters in the SMM 2017 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship at the Ninh Binh and Nam Dinh Gymnasiums on Sunday.
Sarmayeh Bank, powered by Iran national players Farhad Ghaemi and Milad Ebaddipour, who earlier played in the World League and veteran Shahram Mahmoud, won the opening set without much effort 25-14, but failed miserably in the second set, which they succumbed the19-25 defeat to the improved Chinese side.
Nevertheless, the Iranians turned things around and played superbly to win the remaining two sets 25-18, 25-15 and match. Despite the big win, Sarmayeh Bank will next face a daunting task against unbeaten Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza from Japan on Monday. The match is expected to become a clash of the Titans, with both sides vying for a better position in the playoffs and a brighter opportunity for a spot in the semi-finals.
“This was our second match of the tournament and we have more expectation for the team in this championship. We are improving in leaps and bounds. Actually, we prepared seriously for two months in preparation for our title defence in this tournament. We are a good team with talented players. I am sure that we can go far in this tournament. However, we still have to fight hard against the other strong teams from Qatar, Japan and Kazakhstan. We will do ur best in this tournament,” Samayeh Bank’s head coach Mostafa Karkhaneh commented after the match .
Kazakhstan’s Altay VC became another strong team to be reckoned with in this top-tier championship. On Sunday, the Kazakh side produced a fantastic comeback 3-1 (21-25, 25-8, 25-19, 25-22) victory over Iraq’s Al-Bahri Sport Club.
The last match of the day saw a large crowd of home fans leave the competition site with their heads low in disappointment when Vietnam Sports Club went down 15-25 22-25 22-25 in a thrilling battle to much stronger Al Arabi Sports Club, the team from Qatar which claimed silver at the previous edition in Myanmar last year.
At the Nam Dinh Gymnasium, Croat Igor Omrcen’s 25 points gave Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza a magnificent come-from-behind 3-1 (25-27 25-19 25-13 25-17) victory over Taichung Commercial Bank from Chinese Taipei.
The strongly-built Omrcen, who stands 208cm tall and weighs 100km, scored a match-high 25 points including 23 kills from 44 attempts. Takuya Takmatsu contributed 11 kills. Hirotaka Kon shone through his blocking skill to add 5 kill blocks, with Ryota Denda and Shuzo Yamada scoring 4 and 3 through their solid blocks. Liu Hong-Jie led Taichung Commercial Bank with 14 points, all of them through his devastating attacks.
In the 9th-13th playoff match, Australia’s Canberra Heat played with more confidence and proved steadier in their encounter against Sri Lanka Ports Authority to beat the rivals 3-1 (25-19 12-25 25-20 25-18) for their first win in the annual tournament. Elliott Viles topscored with 18 points for the Aussies, while Surath Janitha led the Sri Lankan counterparts with 19 points including 16 kills from 34 attempts.
At Ninh Binh Gymnasium
Playoff 1st-8th: Altay VC (Kazakhstan) b Al-Bahri Sport Club 3-1 (21-25 25-8 25-19 25-22)
Playoff 1st-8th: Al Arabi Sports Club (Qatar) b Vietnam Sports Club (Vietnam) 3-0 (25-15 25-22 25-22)
Playoff 1st-8th: Sarmayeh Bank (Iran) b Beijing Baic Motor (China) 3-1 (25-14 19-25 25-18 25-15)
At Nam Dinh Gymnasium
Playoff 1st-8th: Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza (Japan) b Taichung Commercial Bank (Chinese Taipei) 3-1 (25-27 25-19 25-13 25-17)
Playoff 9th-13th: Canberra Heat (Australia) b Sri Lanka Ports Authority (Sri Lanka) 3-1 (25-19 12-25 25-20 25-18)
Monday, July 3, 2017
At Ninh Binh Gymnasium
3pm: Sarmayeh Bank (Iran) v Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza (Japan)
5.30pm: Al-Bahri Sport Club (Iraq) v Al Arabi Sports Club (Qatar)
8pm: Taichung Commercial Bank (Chinese Taipei) v Beijing Baic Motor (China)
At Nam Dinh Gymnasium
5.30pm: Sri Lanka Ports Authority (Sri Lanka) v Yan Chai (Hong Kong)
8pm: Vietnam Sports Club (Vietnam) v Altay VC (Kazakhstan)
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