Jakarta, Indonesia, February 13, 2018 – Indonesia A’s hunt for the top spot in the round-robin preliminaries came to fruition on Tuesday when they survived scare and beat Japan in hard-fought five-set thriller of the 18th Asian Games Men’s Volleyball Invitation Tournament at the Tennis Indoor Senayan in Jakarta.
Ace spiker Rivan Nurmulki, who won the Best Opposite Spiker award at the last year’s Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship on home soil in Gresik, delighted home fans with his incredible form as he turned into a smashing machine in a tough match against powerhouses Japan, represented by a young, potential team this time.
Rivan attacked relentlessly to contribute 30 points for the host side’s magnificent come-from-behind 21-25 21-25 25-21 28-26 15-10 victory in a gruelling encounter which lasted 117 minutes.
Rivan attacked 26 points from 46 attempts, served 3 aces and blocked one. Agung Seganti and Gunawan Saputra added 11 and 10 points respectively to help Indonesia A beat Japan. Arai Yudai scored a match-high 21 points for the visitors including 19 kills. Hiroki Ozawa collected additional 20 points for the Japanese side.
The other match on Tuesday saw Indonesia B thrash underdogs Hong Kong in straight sets 25-21 25-18 25-20. Sigit Ardian led the Indonesians with 12 points including 10 attacks. Hin So Chun topscored Hong Kong with 9 points including 7 kills and 1 ace serve.
At the end of the round-robin preliminaries on Tuesday, Indonesia A stayed at the top of the standing with 8 points from three consecutive victories, followed respectively by Indonesia B (5 points from 2 wins, 1 loss), Japan (5 points from 1 win, 2 losses) and Hong Kong (no point from three straight losses).
Samsul Jais, head coach of Indonesia B, commented after the match: “Our second match against Japan on Monday was much tougher. There were not much instruction that I gave on that game. We improved the service and receive and attacked opponents with the service. The key to success in that game against Japan was that my players started well with the first ball, especially to attack. We will take on Japan again in the semi-finals and I hope my players will come up with good form to repeat the similar feat.”
Indonesia B b Hong Kong 3-0 (25-21 25-18 25-20)
Indonesia A b Japan 3-2 (21-25 21-25 28-26 15-10)
Indonesia A 8 points from 3 wins, no loss
Indonesia B 5 points from 2 wins, 1 loss
Japan 5 points from 1 win, 2 losses
Hong Kong 0 point from no win, 3 losses
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