PAKISTAN POWER INTO 3-0 WIN ON CHINESE TAIPEI
Almaty, Kazakhstan, May 18, 2018 – Pakistan dealt a 3-0 win (25-22, 26-24, 25-19) against Chinese Taipei at the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace on Friday, to gain good momentum at the AVC Qualification for the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup.
Pakistan coach Hamid Mohavedi mentioned that they have prepared well against a team that defeated them in 2017, but noted that it was still a difficult match to handle.
“Chinese Taipei use different tactics, and they sometimes manage to change their attack during the game. The players are very clever with good technique, but without much tension because they have much experience. It can be difficult to play against them especially in defense but during the match, we were able to control the tempo,” Mohavedi said.
Jehan Murad led all scorers with 18 points but attributed his contribution to the team.
“Today is an important achievement all because we had good spirit. We played as a team,” Murad said.
Pakistan started the match with much composure in their offense, setting up good plays for the attack. Setter Nadeem Asif provided a balance of plays to address the traditionally quicker style of their opponents. Pakistan took an 8-6 lead at the first technical time-out.
Chinese Taipei needed to address this and quickly imposed pressure on their service. Captain Chien-Chen Chen and Yi-Huei Lin served ferociously to throw the opponents off their rhythm. They also committed well in their block defense.
Teams contested every point, as Pakistan slowly worked its tempo on their block. With the scoring efforts of Murad, Pakistan closed off the first set at 25-22.
In the second set, Pakistan grew more confident, making sound decisions in transition plays. They ran more combinations which showed they could unleash various offensive options. This worked to their advantage as their opponents found difficulty to respond, even with their usual solid defense.
Chinese Taipei managed to pick up momentum with two points from setter Chien-Pin Wang’s second ball tap-ins. Meanwhile, Chien-Chen Chen needed to be the motivational leader and scoring sparkplug for his team. He did so by unleashing firepower from the wing and working the pipe, to help build a narrow 10-8 lead.
Raza Mubashir fought back as he took the left wing with solid blocking and surefire spiking, to help give Pakistan the 16-12 edge at the second technical time-out.
The Pakistan began to instill more pressure in serve, while Chinese Taipei tried to respond, with Hung-Min Liu’s scoring efforts. Mohavedi’s squad sped with momentum towards 24-20. Later, Chien-Chen Chen and Chien-Feng Huang managed to work the flank to race back at 24-24.
Pakistan gained more favor with their rotation and their stronger frontline helped close the second set at 26-24.
By the third set, Chinese Taipei tried to get into their system, to take an early 7-3 lead. They organized their block better, and posted better response at the second line of defense. Pakistan worked their way back with Mubashir at the flank, and later took 8-7 at the first technical time-out.
Chien-Chen Chen was still Chinese Taipei’s top offensive option, but he slowly became a marked man, as Pakistan spent all energies on containing him. Chinese Taipei also suffered from errors, which gave Pakistan the 16-13 lead by the second technical time-out.
The sides exchanged points, but Chinese Taipei was unable to completely find a way to address the challenge of their opponents. The biggest challenge was how to respond to Mubashir’s strong game, who delivered the final point for Pakistan’s 25-19 victory in the third set.
Pakistan will face hosts Kazakhstan on Saturday, May 19, at 1700h local. Chinese Taipei will try to secure a win in the competition, with their turn to face the hosts on Sunday, 1700h local.
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