Ninh Binh, July 6, 2017 – Sarmayeh Bank underlined their domination at the SMM 2017 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship at the Ninh Binh Gymnasium after pulling off a hard-fought 39-37 25-14 25-23 victory over spirited Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza in the final showdown on Thursday to make it two in a row and Iran’s 12th title at the top-tier competition.
Sarmayeh Bank captured their maiden victory at the previous edition in Myanmar last year after powering past Al Arabi Sports Club from Qatar in the final clash. This time, the Iranians had already beaten Al Arabi in the semi-finals and their repeated feat over Japan’s Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza in the Thursday’s showdown gave Sarmayeh Bank a clean sweep in the nine-day tournament and ended their title defence campaign with a remarkable unbeaten record.
Paykan Tehran were the first team from Iran to win the Asian Men’s Club title in 2002 and have dominated the tournament from 2006 to 2011. The remaining five titles of Iran came from Sanam Tehran in 2004, Kalleh Mazandaran in 2013, Matin Varmint in 2014 and Sarmayeh Bank in 2015 and 2016.
In the third-place playoff earlier, Qatar’s Al Arabi Sports Club, which took silver at the previous episode last year in Myanmar, avenged the first-round loss to Altay VC, beating the Kazakh side with a comeback 3-1 (22-25 25-13 25-20 25-19) win to grab bronze.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s Al-Bahri Sport Club caused a major sensation after cruising past Beijing Baic Motor from China in four-setter 25-14 25-14 19-25 25-22 in the 5th-6th playoff. Al-Bahri took home the fifth place, with the Chinese side leaving the competition site with heads low in great despair following their below-par performance to finish a disappointing sixth in Vietnam.
The 7th-8th place playoff between Vietnam Sports Club and Taichung Commercial Bank from Chinese Taipei was held at the Nam Dinh Gymnasium, which saw the strong visitors come from behind to beat the host side with dramatic 3-1 (21-25 25-20 25-22 25-17) victory.
Taichung Commercial Bank, the Asian Men’s Club winners at the 2015 edition on home soil, were led by devastating Liu Hung-Min, who scored 19 points including 17 kills from 34 attempts for Taichung Bank. Chen Chien-Chen proved to be an asset for the team to hand the team additional 18 points. Tu Thanh Thuan led the host team with 16 points.
At the awards presentation, Sarmayeh Bank stood proudly on the victory podium to receive the prestigious trophy and gold medals, with second-placed Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza and third-placed Al Arabi Sports Club claiming silver and bronze medals respectively. As the eventual winners, Samaryeh Bank have qualified for the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship as the Asia’s representatives.
At Nam Dinh Gymnasium
7th-8th playoff: Taichung Commercial Bank (Chinese Taipei) b Vietnam Sports Club (Vietnam) 3-1 (21-25 25-20 25-22 25-17)
At Ninh Binh Gymnasium
5th-6th playoff: Al-Bahri Sport Club (Iraq) b Beijing Baci Motor (China) 3-1 (25-14 25-14 19-25 25-22)
Bronze medal match: Al Arabi Sports Club (Qatar) b Altay VC (Kazakhstan) 3-1 (22-25 25-13 25-20 25-19)
Championship match: Sarmayeh Bank (Iran) b Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza (Japan) 3-0 (39-37 25-14 25-23)
1. Sarmayeh Bank (Iran) – qualified for 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship
2. Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza (Japan)
3. Al Arabi Sports Club (Qatar)
4. Altay VC (Kazakhstan)
5. Al-Bahri Sport Club (Iraq)
6. Beijing Baic Motor (China)
7. Taichung Commercial Bank (Chinese Taipei)
8. Vietnam Sports Club (Vietnam)
9. Air Force VC (Thailand)
10. Canberra Heat (Australia)
11. Sri Lanka Ports Authority (Sri Lanka)
12. Maldivian Sports & Recreation Club (Maldives)
13. Yan Chai (Hong Kong)
BEST SETTER: Zygadlo Lukasz (Sarmayeh Bank, Iran)
BEST OUTSIDE SPIKER (Tetsu Yamachika (Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza, Japan)
2ND BEST OUTSIDE SPIKER: Milad Ebadipour Gharah (Sarmayeh Bank, Iran)
BEST MIDDLE BLOCKER: Mohammad Mousavi Eraghi Seyed (Sarmayeh Bank, Iran)
SECOND BEST MIDDLE BLOCKER: Damir Akimov (Altay, Kazakhstan)
BEST LIBERO: Koichiro Koga (Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza, Japan)
BEST OPPOSITE: Gyorgy Grozer (Al Arabi Sports Club, Qatar)
MVP: Shahram Mahmoudi (Sarmayeh Bank, Iran)
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