China show dominance on third day of Asian U20 champs
Thailand d Maldives 3-0 (25-7, 25-4, 25-7)
Thailand had to wait until day three to make their first appearance in Bahrain but the team quickly showed they had used the time well.
Maldives struggled on the opening night against Bahrain, and it found the Thai team even more formidable, winning just 18 points across three sets.
“For this game my players served well, and our attack and defence was good,” Thailand coach Prasert Tangmuang said. “We had to wait two days to play, so my players were a bit nervous. We hope to make it through to the second round, and make the top eight. And if we’re lucky, we could make top four.”
Maldives coach Nizar Ibrahim knows what his team needs.
“We need more experience,” he admitted. “We faced the same problem as the last game, our players are nervous because this is an International tournament.”
“We had a defence and serve reception problem, so we could not give them a good fight. We also faced problems with height, technique and speed.”
China d Korea 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-16)
What was billed as potentially one of the games of the championships turned into a one-sided affair with China outmuscling six-time U20 champions Korea in straight sets.
China picked up eight aces and 15 blocks in an outstanding all-round performance.
“Korea is a perfect team, they have a great receiver and digger,” Chinese coach Genyin Ju said.
“Our team gave a good performance so we are lucky to win this game. Every ball our guys take seriously and work hard, from the first ball to the end ball.”
Korean coach Jinsoo Noh concedes his team was outplayed.
“There were some height differences, and we had some problems with our serve receives,” he said. “The Chinese were blocking like the Great Wall. We tried for quick attacking but we were poor in some parts.”
Qatar d Turkmenistan 3-0 (25-13, 31-29, 25-10)
Given a free license to take risks by coach Sattler Tine, Qatar picked up a massive win over Turkmenistan to recover from their loss to Iran a day earlier. They scored 44 spikes to their rivals 18 and 12 blocks to four.
The strategy had its problems, with Qatar racking up 16 errors in the second set, but coach Tine said he could live with that.
“We didn’t know what to expect from Turkmenistan,” he said. “We had an opinion we were better, but we didn’t know.
“The second set was my experiment, because I wanted to give some chances to the players who don’t normally play, and when I put back the first team players they weren’t in the rhythm.”
Turkmenistan was hoping to build on the momentum from its win against Hong Kong on Saturday,but coach Yazgeldi Hojayev said his team is missing its star player.
“At the first interview I said our main player, our opposite, couldn’t come here because of injury,” he said. “So our team is not so good in this championship. If our playing is going on, we go, if not, we stop.”
Qatar’s Ratmt Wadidie is already stamping himself as one of the stars of the championships, picking up another 20 points in the match.
India b Hong Kong 3-0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-22)
India once again flew under the radar in Bahrain, following up an easy win against Turkmenistan with another over Hong Kong on Sunday.
The team’s height proved too much for Hong Kong as they clocked up 42 spike points to Hong Kong’s 25, and 12 block points to Hong Kong’s three.
“Hong Kong fought well, but their height is very much less,” Indian coach Yadav Singh said. “We had a powerful attack and we had a very big block against Hong Kong.”
However Singh is aware of the challenge that faces his team as they prepare to clash with Iran and Qatar.
“We have a very strong team,” he said. “I think we have a better chance of qualifying from this group. We have very mature players and have confidence in our players.”
Hong Kong captain To Sik Lok has been a standout player for his team, picking up another 12 points on Sunday and he believes his team is improving.
“I think our overall consistency has improved,” he said. “Obviously we have improved from the last match. Yesterday we didn’t play very well, but today we reduced our errors. Although we still have quite a lot, especially in our serving game, I think overall we are much more consistent and doing our defence better.”
Sri Lanka d New Zealand 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-22)
Like Thailand, Sri Lanka has also been cooling its heels waiting to make its first appearance at this event.
And like Thailand, they did not disappoint, delivering a clinical display to wear down a brave New Zealand side who had been hoping for its first win after two early losses.
Even though New Zealand out-blocked and out-served Sri Lanka, an error count of 31 to 19 proved costly for the Oceania team.
Sri Lanka coach Jayasekara said it had been hard trying to keep his team focused waiting for their first match, but he was excited with the way they responded on Sunday.
“We are a short team, but we are very quick, so that’s how we decided we would try and beat them,” he said. “Volleyball in Sri Lanka is a national game, but cricket is a very famous game. But in a lot of schools more people are playing volleyball than cricket. But facilities are very much a problem.”
New Zealand coach Neil Anderson said he’d never seen Sri Lanka play before.
“Their combination game we struggled with,” he admitted. “Their back court was fantastic and we had service errors at crucial times, and I think that cost us the game. This was probably our best chance for a win in this group, but Sri Lanka was definitely the better team.”
Chinese Taipei d Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-15, 27-25, 25-21)
Kazakhstan came into their match with Chinese Taipei knowing a win would guarantee them a place in the final eight and a loss would see them go into their final encounter with Japan searching for victory.
After losing the opening set without fanfare, Kazakhstan opened up big leads in the next two sets, including 10-1 in the third, before capitulating in both.
“We could not concentrate,” Kazakhstan coach Oleg Kuznetsov said. “It’s the whole team’s fault. We were like a mouse playing against Chinese Taipei.”
Chinese Taipei coach Kuo-Yuan Lee was confident his team would do well, even in the third set when trailing 10-1.
“I thought we could still win the set,” he said. “Kazakhstan is a very good team. But our attack today and our setting was good.”
Uzbekistan d Kuwait 3-0 (27-25, 26-24, 25-9).
Uzbekistan and Kuwait were both looking for their first win of the championship but it was the former who left the court happy, picking up a tough straight sets triumph.
After two very even opening sets, in which the lead was traded, Uzbekistan ran away with the final set.
Kuwait has a very young side in Bahrain, one of the youngest in the competition and coach Altararwah Jassim said he has the long term in mind.
“The players are improving between each match,” he said. “We didn’t have the experience to finish the sets. We are a young side, but I am very happy with the improvement.”
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