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Khatam Ardakan of Iran claim 2018 Asian Men's Club Championship title

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, August 6, 2018 - Khatam Ardakan of Iran defeated Atyrau of Kazakhstan 3-0 (29-27, 25-23, 25-22) to claim the 2018 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship on Monday.

It was Ardakan’s first victory ever at the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship, but Iran’s 11th in the top-flight competition. The victory also stretched Iran’s winning run to three editions after Sarmayeh Bank of Iran captured the 2016 and 2017 Asian Men’s Club Championship titles in Myanmar and Vietnam respectively.

Khatam Ardakan, second to Sarmayeh Bank in the most recent Iranian Volleyball Super League, fielded a formidable lineup including star spiker Shahram Mahmoudi, who landed the MVP award with two-time Asian Men’s Club champions Sarmayeh Bank, while Kazakhstan’s Atyrau were strengthened by three foreign players, Ukrainians Roman Khandrolin and Oleh Shevchenko and Russian Vasily Nosenko.

“I’m very happy that my team won the title for the first time here and all credit went to everyone in my team. This championship is our team’s first experience. Every team came here to fight for the best result in a competitive tournament, not for fun. Although we lost only one set throughout the whole tournament, I find it very difficult for my team to play in this championship since all participating teams were strong,” said Khatam Ardakan head coach Abbasali Mirhosseini after the final.

As Ardakan stamped their authority over the championship, Atyrau finished in second place, their best performance ever. The Kazakh side finished third twice in 2002 and 2004.

WAPDA also made history on Monday when the Pakistani side powered past Sanest Khanh Hoa of Vietnam 3-2 (19-25, 25-21, 16-25, 25-20, 18-16) to claim bronze.

Results on Monday - Playoffs:
7th-8th place match: Lanka Lions (Sri Lanka) b Long Power (Chinese Taipei) 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 26-24)
5th-6th place match: Toray Arrows (Japan) b Nakhonratchasima The Mall VC (Thailand) 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-18)
Bronze medal match: WAPDA (Pakistan) b Sanest Khanh Hoa (Vietnam) 3-2 (19-25, 25-21, 16-25, 25-20, 18-16)
Championship match: Khatam Ardakan (Iran) b Atyrau (Kazakhstan) 3-0 (29-27, 25-23, 25-22)

Final standings:
1. Khatam Ardakan (Iran)
2. Atyrau (Kazakhstan)
3. WAPDA (Pakistan)
4. Sanest Khanh Hoa (Vietnam)
5. Toray Arrows (Japan)
6. Nakhonratchasima The Mall VC (Thailand)
7. Lanka Lions (Sri Lanka)
8. Long Power (Chinese Taipei)
9. Canberra Heat (Australia)
10. Yanchai (Hong Kong)
11. Asia World Club (Myanmar)
12. Sichuan (China)
13. Binagar (Turkmenistan)

Individual awards:
Best Outside Spikers:
Hossein Amiri No.11 Khatam Ardakan (Iran)
Aibat Netalin No.7 Atyrau (Kazakhstan)

Best Middle Blockers:
Adel Gholami No.9 Khatam Ardakan (Iran)
Nguyen Dinh Nhu No.12 Sanest Khanh Hoa (Vietnam)

Best Opposite:
Aimal Khan No.8 WAPDA (Pakistan)

Best Setter:
Roman Khandrolin No.2 Atyrau (Kazakhstan)

Best Libero:
Mojtaba Yousefi NO.17 Khatam Ardakan (Iran)

Most Valuable Player:
Hamzeh Zarini No.7 Khatam Ardakan (Iran)

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