Manila, Philippines, April 9, 2014 – Iran’s Matin Varamin upheld its supremacy in their much-anticipated duel with Japan’s Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler, claiming a 3-1 victory (25-18, 21-25, 25-13, 25-22) to open their Pool B campaign while Baic Motor of China relied on their reinforcements – Belgian-Italian Wout Wijsmans and Canadian Fredric Winters – in their 3-1 (20-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-21) victory over a resilient Chinese Taipei team in Pool D at the PLDT Home Fibr 2014 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday.
Fresh from a long holiday, the Iranians were impressive on the defensive side, keeping the Japanese attackers in check all game long.
Four players scored in double figures for Matin Varamin, with Seyed Mohammad Mousavi E. firing 11 kills for 13 points, and Mostafa Sharifat adding 12 hits and three blocks.
Matin Varamin captain Mir Saeid L. Marouf and Pourya Fayazi D. contributed 11 points apiece for Iran, which boasts four members from the national team.
Egyptian hitter Mohamed Khattab scored 19 points for Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler, and Yuki Hosokawa and Hiroya Ishigaki had 14 and 12, respectively, but their efforts were scuttled by a number of errors.
"We just came from a long holiday and we're not yet in the best condition," said Matin Varamin coach Daniele Bagnoli. "But we will try to do our best to regain our form as the tournament goes by. The ultimate goal is to win this tournament. The next few days will be very difficult so we have to be ready."
The United Arab Emirates’ Alnasr Sports Club opened its campaign with a victory. Alnasr completed a straight-sets win (25-17, 25-22, 25-16) over Papua New Guinea’s Amoa NCD in Pool D.
Srecko Ristiv fired 13 points, 11 coming off kills, to lead Alnasr to a quick victory that wrapped up in less than an hour.
Mohamed Chikhi scored nine hits in a 10-point effort and Amer Almarzooqi added nine kills to help lift Alnasr.
Baic Motor’s Wout Wijsmans and Fredric Winters both scored 21 points in the 3-1 (20-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-21) victory over a resilient Chinese Taipei team. Baic Motor claimed its first victory in Pool D.
Winters, a professional Canadian player who has seen action in Europe and Asia, collected 19 kills, one block and a service ace for a 21-point performance.
Wijismans, a Belgian who played in Italy before moving to Beijing last year, also posted 21 points, built on 15 hits, three blocks and three service aces.
Baic Motor overcame the 29-point explosion of Chinese Taipei's Huang Chien-Feng, who erupted for 22 hits, five service aces and two blocks.
Chinese Taipei, which triumphed in straight sets against Papua New Guinea on opening day, fell to 1-1.
Sohar Club of Oman started off slow but managed to recover to beat Hong Kong’s Green Dragon 3-1 (14-25, 25-14, 25-12, 25-20) in Pool C. Younis Alaamri powered 23 points including 20 spikes, and Ahmed Hassan Alshezawi fired 15 hits for Sohar, which snared its first victory in its bracket.
Kazakhstan’s Kondensat-Zhaikmunay sustained its momentum in claiming their second straight win and Pool C leadership as it defeated Turkmenistan’s Migrasiya 3-1 (25-17, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22). Maxim Samarin scored Kondensat's last four points on kills to keep the team afloat in Pool C. He finished with 21 points on 18 spikes, two blocks and an ace.
The third day of the championship will be exhilarating as Iraq will be facing hosts PLDT Home TVolution in Pool A. Japanese club Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler and Vietnam’s Duc Long Gia Lai will have tough games as they will play against Pool B leaders Zahraa Al Minaa of Lebanon and Matin Varamin of Iran, respectively.
Qatar’s Al-Rayyan will play Kazakhstan’s Kondensat-Zhaikmunay, while Oman’s Sohar Club challenge Migrasiya-Turkmenistan in Pool C. China’s Baic Motor are expected to maintain its pace in Pool D as they clash with UAE’s Alnasr Sports Club.
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