TEAMS FACE STIFF CHALLENGES HEADING TO QUARTER-FINALS OF ASIAN MEN’S U20 CHAMPIONSHIP
Manama, Bahrain, July 24, 2018 – Unbeaten India demolished Hong Kong 3-1 on Tuesday to take big steps in confronting Asian powerhouses Iran, as daunting tasks await teams heading to the quarter-finals of the 19th Asian Men’s U20 Volleyball Championship at Isa Sport City Hall.
Lower-raked teams (R9-R24) battled it out to earn places for their next encounters on Wednesday against the top eight teams (R1-R8), which will determine the eight winning teams in the quarter-finals and the losers to the 9th-16th classification round the following day.
India still had an unbeaten run in the top-tier championship after producing a fantastic 3-1 (19-25 26-24 27-25 25-12) win over Hong Kong on Wednesday. Shreyansh Singh’s 16 points including 12 spikes and another 16 points from Shekhar Singh enabled India to a successful comeback.
Chinese Taipei had a little problems in thrashing Kiwis in straight sets 25-19, 25-13, 25-15. Chang Yu-Sheng was the lone player in this match who made a double-digit scoring with 16 points to lead Chinese Taipei, while New Zealand’s Will Watson made 9 markers on a losing effort. Chinese Taipei capitalized on their strong spikes, unleashing 37 points overall.
Kazakhstan proved a class above Maldives following a completely one-sided battle which ended 25-16 25-14 25-11 in favour of the Kazakhs.
Hosts Bahrain also advanced to the next round after pulling off a dramatic 25-27 25-20 25-10 25-21 victory over Malaysia, thanks largely to a splendid combination and offensive mobility of Mohamed Alabbar Sayed, Mohamed Abdullah, Hasan Haider, Husain Thamer and Mahmood Salman, all of them scored in double digits.
Iraq went all out to deliver a crushing straight-set (25-18, 25-19, 25-18) defeat to Macao. Ali Sahib Abushanan outperformed all the players in individual scoring skills as he scored a match-high 16 points for Iraq in the match, while Andulrasool Mohamed Ali Anwer added 15 points.
Meanwhile, powerful hitter Afaq Khan stole the show as he scored a team-high 14 points to steer Pakistan to an upset 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-21) win over Jordan.
Saudi Arabia proved steadier to beat the United Arab Emirates in thrilling four-setter 25-20, 22-25, 25-16, 25-19, while Qatar won a match against Uzbekistan without sweating as the rivals withdrew from the competition earlier.
The classification playoffs continue on Wednesday. India go up against Iran (R1), Pakistan take on Korea (R2), Saudi Arabia play China (R3), Chinese Taipei have a tough match against Japan (R4) and Qatar face Thailand (R5). The other matches see Iraq meet Turkmenistan (R6), Kazakhstan play Sri Lanka (R7) and hosts Bahrain be pitted against Australia (R8).
The Wednesday’s winning teams will advance to the quarter-finals, with the losers being relegated to the 9th-16th classification round. The 19th Asian Men’s U20 Championship serves as an Asian qualification tournament for the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship. Only top two teams from Manama will make the cut for the next year’s world meet.
Chinese Taipei b New Zealand 3-0 (25-19, 25-13, 25-15)
Pakistan b Jordan 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-21)
Iraq b Macao 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-18)
Bahrain b Malaysia 3-1 (25-27, 25-20, 25-18, 25-21)
India b Hong Kong 3-1 (19-25, 26-24, 27-25, 25-12)
Saudi Arabia b UAE 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-16, 25-19)
Kazakhstan b Maldives 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-11)
July 25, 2018 (Local time)
Iran v India
Korea v Pakistan
China v Saudi Arabia
Turkmenistan v Iraq
Japan v Chinese Taipei
Thailand v Qatar
Australia v Bahrain
Sri Lanka v Kazakhstan
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