Volleyball News

Manila, Philippines, August 9, 2017 – Favourite teams got the SMM 19th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship off to brilliant starts to taste their first wins at the top-tier competition, with Thailand mercilessly crushing debutants Maldives in totally one-sided battle and Japan outclassing Australians in comfortable straight sets on Wednesday.

Korea, the Incheon Asian Games gold medallists who have yet won an Asian title since the tournament’s inception in 1975 in Melbourne, Australia, played without captain Kim Yeon-koung, but captured their first victory following a comfortable straight-set 25-21 25-14 25-12 win over unfancied New Zealand at the Alonte Sports Arena

“We just came from the World Grand Prix. She (Kim) is too tired today that’s why she didn’t play,” Korea’s head coach Hong Sungjin told the press.

Asked if Kim will see action by then, the coach said: “Not yet. We still have a lot of games ahead. Maybe she will play against Vietnam.”

Thailand, which landed the Asian crown in 2009 in Hanoi, Vietnam and in 2013 on home soil in Nakhon Ratchasima, gave newcomers Maldives a sizzling hot welcome to a straight-set beating spearheaded by Hattaya Bamrungsuk. The Thai team spent only 53 minutes in thrashing the inexperienced rivals 25-5, 25-12, 25-9.

“My players are in good condition. I would like to bring the momentum from the World Grand Prix to this tournament,” Thailand head coach Danai Sriwacharamaytakul said in an interview.

“We try not to look at other teams. We just focus on what we can do to win.” Thailand are due to take on Iran the following day.

The noisy, and proud Philippine crowds inside the Alonte Sports Complex were rewarded with a sensational 25-21 25-16 25-17 win over fighting Hong Kong.

“That’s the goal: a 3-set win. We had good results today. I’m proud that the hard work we put into training in Japan paid off,” said Philippines head coach Francis Vicente.

At the Muntinlupa Sports Complex, Vietnam encountered heavy resistance from a fighting Sri Lankan side before hacking out a 25-12, 25-14, 25-17 victory in the opening day.

Even without some of their reliable stars, indomitable Japan cruised to a convincing opening day victory after thumping Australia, 25-19, 25-14, 25-8.

The Japanese played efficiently in both ends with ace spiker Mami Uchiseto doing the most damage as she collected 13 points built around 10 kills and 3 service aces while Rika Nomoto and Mami Nomoto backed her up with 9 and 8 markers, respectively.

Also claiming their win on Wednesday were Chinese Taipei. With team captain Chen Wan-ting leading the charge, the hard-hitting Chinese Taipei whipped Iran, 25-15, 25-27, 25-17, 25-20, to kickstart the top-flight tournament on a winning note here.

A strong field of 14 teams are participating in the SMM 19th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship, hoping to make their mark and land the prestigious Asian title in the biennial tournament.

The pool round-robin preliminaries will run through Friday before top two from each pool advance to the last eight teams and the third and fourth places will be relegated to the 9th-14th classification round.

Preliminary Round
At the Alonte Sports Arena
Pool A: Philippines b Hong Kong 3-0 (25-21 25-16 25-17)
Pool C: Korea b New Zealand 3-0 (25-21 25-14 25-12)
Pool D: Thailand b Maldives 3-0 (25-5 25-12 25-9)

At the Muntinlupa Sports Complex
Pool B: Japan b Australia 3-0 (25-19 25-14 25-8)
Pool C: Vietnam b Sri Lanka 3-0 (25-12 25-14 25-17)
Pool D: Chinese Taipei b Iran 3-1 (25-15 25-27 25-17 25-20)

Thursday, August 10, 2017
At the Alonte Sports Arena
12.30pm: China v Japan
15.00pm: Thailand v Iran
17.30pm: Kazakhstan v Hong Kong

At the Muntinlupa Sports Complex
12.30pm: Maldives v Chinese Taipei
15.00pm: Korea v Sri Lanka
17.30pm: New Zealand v Vietnam


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