Surabaya, Indonesia, July 25, 2017 – Chinese Taipei claimed their second win at the SMM 19th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship at the Wahana Ekspresi Poesponegoro Gymnasium after disposing off Iraq in a hard-fought three-setter 26-24 25-21 25-22 on Tuesday.
Winning two in a row has ensured Chinese Taipei, which thrashed Pakistan in straight sets the previous match, a place in the quarter-finals. Wu Tsung-Hsuan led the winning team with 14 points including 13 kills from 22 attempts. Liu Hung-Min contributed 13 points including 11 kills. Shamir Nameer topscored for Iraq with 12 points.
In the first set, left-hander Wu Tsung-Hsuan produced terrific jump serves and sharp attacks to help Chinese Taipei catch up with Iraq 20-20. Iraq won crucial points to lead 24-22, needing only one more point to take the set, but just let the opportunity slip through their fingers. Chinese Taipei came back to win the hard-fought set 26-24.
Going down one set, Iraq remained in impressive form in the second set. With Safaa Lafta Majeed coming up with powerful attacks, the Iraqis fought hard to catch Chinese Taipei, whose players competed in the 2015 Asian Club-winning Taichung Bank, 19-19. However, Chinese Taipei performed better in terms of consistency and well-organised defence to take the set 25-21.
Both sides played a close third set, with Chinese Taipei a step in front to lead narrowly 20-19. As the Iraqis tried to put their acts for the final assault, the tough rivals allowed them only one more point to win the set 25-22 and match.
“We played well today against the Iraqis, but I think our rivals’ performance was also not that bad. They fought hard. A tough challenge awaits us in our next match as we will take on Iran. They are one of the strong teams. We will go back to study their game and strategy. We have to do our best. My team played the World League Group 3 this season, but only one player is missing from our team this time,” Chinese Taipei’s head coach Yu Ching-Fang commented after the match.
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