CHUAN SOARS AS CHINA ROLL ARGENTINA IN UPSET WIN
Ningbo, China, May 26 – Chuan Jiang was in irresistible form on Saturday, collecting 23 points in a superb all-round performance as China rolled Argentina 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-18) and delighted their fans in first-round action at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
World rankings were thrown out the window as the opposite spiker proved his versatility all over the court in leading the 20th-ranked Chinese over their seventh-ranked rivals.
Chuan had a large support crew but special mention needs to go to wing spiker Ji Daoshuai, with his eight points and inspirational play.
Argentina had won the first two sets the night before against world number two USA, before falling 3-2, but never really troubled the Chinese on Saturday night – much to the sheer joy sounding out across the stadium by the chanting and cheerful locals.
Wing spiker Tomas Lopez (10 points) was the most gallant in a defeat that wasn’t expected but maybe should have been, given that China had won all three matches played on home soil in last year’s World League.
As well as the attack, led superbly by Chuan, the Chinese defence rose to the occasion, with nine blocks overall compared to just one from Argentina.
Both teams had lost five-setters on the opening night of first-round action in Ningbo, reflecting again just how close teams are in terms of pure ability at the top of the sport.
While the South Americans were ahead 6-4 overall between the two nations, they hadn’t actually met across the net in seven years.
Interestingly the Chinese came to the Beilun Sport and Art Centre on an 0-4 run against South American opponents that dates right back to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where they had downed Venezuela 3-2.
And so that run was ended.
Chuan in particular has stamped his class on both of China’s outings in the first round, having led scoring with 17 points in the 3-2 loss to Bulgaria on Friday night. But his serving skills have also been a highlight thanks to their pace and precision.
The real test now comes on Sunday against the world number two-ranked USA, who’ve won both their first-round matches so far and are already cementing their place as one of the VNL favourites.
China coach Raul Lozano: “I am satisfied with the result. Actually we played well yesterday but didn’t win. In terms of performance, there are not many differences between the two matches. This victory is important especially when our young players meet such a strong opponent. We just returned from Argentina and we did not win any matches there. Today Jiang Chuan was in great shape and he helped us go through many crucial moments. We should prepare against the United States.”
China captain Ji Daoshuai: “I am very happy. We played as a team. This is our best match. We are making progress in each match we play. We trained in South America prior to this and now we are starting to show what we have trained for.”
China player Jiang Chuan: “We didn’t serve well yesterday against Bulgaria. After that match, our coach gave us some technical instructions on our serve. I think we all did a good job in service today.
“We have played four friendly matches with Argentina, so we are familiar with each other. This is our home court and we don’t want to lose the match, so today we stood together to fight. We should find our weaknesses to improve our game.
“All the teams in this tournament are ranked higher than us, so we will try to put our efforts in each game. We cherish this experience and hope to learn something from our opponents.”
elated links of AVC
Related links of AVC
AVC Website: click www.asianvolleyball.net
AVC Facebook: click www.Facebook.com/AsianVolleyballConfederation
AVC Twitter: click: https://twitter.com/avcvolley
AVC Instagram: click: https://www.instagram.com/avcvolley/?hl=en
AVC Youtube: click: Asian Volleyball Confederation