Surabaya, Indonesia, August 1, 2017 – Chinese Taipei proved an impossible nut to crack for Australia after cruising past the hefty rivals in hard-fought five-set thriller 25-23 25-20 21-25 23-25 15-11 to finish 7th place at the SMM 19th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship at the Tri Dharma Petrokimia Gymnasium on Tuesday.
Chinese Taipei, which beat the same rivals 3-1 in the top-eight playoff encounter earlier, started encouragingly to win the first two sets 25-23 25-20, thanks to their quick play and an excellent offensive combination led by left-hander Wu Tsung-Hsuan and Liu Hung-Min
However, the Chinese Taipei’s attacking attempts were foiled by the Australia’s high blocking. The Aussies, whose height average is 199cm against the rivals’ 188cm, used their height advantage to attack and block effectively for the 25-21 25-23 win in the next two sets.
Both sides came out in full force to win the set and match, but Chinese Taipei played more consistently in the tie-breaker, avoiding to make unforced mistakes at the near end of the set. Their determination bore fruits when they won the decider 15-11, match and the 7th place at this Asian Senior Men’s Championship in Surabaya.
Wu Tsung-Hsuan led Chinese Taipei with 17 points, 15 of them through his lightning-fast attacks, while Liu Hung-Min contributed 15 points including 13 kills from29 attempts. Luke Smith topscored with 18 points for Australia including 14 kills from 33 attempts.
“I think Australia are very strong, but when they have continually been competing for several days like us, they became tired and were not at their best. In the third and fourth sets, our players did not play well, while Australia came back much stronger. Actually, we lost to Australia before at the FIVB Volleyball World Championship AVC Qualifier Pool B in Canberra, Australia. After this, we will take some rest. In the next two weeks, around six players in my team will join the Universiade squad. Winning the 7th place here is not that bad despite the fact that our real target is to return with a medal,” said Chinese Taipei’s head coach Yu Ching-Fang.
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