Manila, Philippines, April 16, 2014 - Reigning champions Matin Varamin of Iran qualified for the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship, after winning gold at the PLDT Home Fibr 2014 Asian Men's Club Volleyball Championship on Wednesday.
Matin Varamin leaned on a strong third set to outplay a tough Al-Rayyan of Qatar 3-1 (19-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-16) and capture the Asian Men's Club Volleyball Championship title at the Mall of Asia Arena. With the win, the team earns the opportunity to represent Asia at the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship, which begins next month in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
"We are actually in a bad condition and it was lucky for us that we finished in a good way," said Matin Varamin's Italian coach Daniele Bagnoli. "There were some weak rotations, but there were some strong."
The Iranians trailed by 18-23 and 21-24 in the third set, before blocks from Seyed Mohammad Mousavi E. and Shahram Mahmoudi Kh., along with quick kills from Mojtaba Mirzajanpour and Alireza Nasr Esfahani, which gave the squad the last five points for the set victory.
From then on, the Al-Rayyan – particularly its Italian import Cristian Savani – lost their offensive touch as it failed to convert attacks with Al-Rayyan further toughening up its defense behind the net.
Al-Rayyan's libero Said Saad Sulaiman was given a red card after kicking the ball toward the stands at the end of the third set, earning Matin Varamin an extra point at the start of the fourth frame. From then on, the Qatari side was unable to recover.
“We started good, but unfortunately, we didn't get the third set," said Al-Rayyan mentor Igor Arbutina. “Obviously in the fourth set, we're not in the condition to play.”
Mahmoudi led Iran with 19 points, even as Mousavi chipped in 13 hits, highlighted by seven blocks. Mostafa Sharifat also contributed 13 points.
Savani was the top scorer for Al-Rayyan with 19 points, including three blocks and two aces.
Matin Varamin was also stronger on the defensive end, posting 18 blocks compared to Al-Rayyan's nine.
In earlier matches, China's Baic Motor powered its way to claim the bronze medal, after beating Kazakhstan's Kondensat-Zhaikmunay in straight sets (25-17, 25-14, 25-20).
Chinese Taipei used its excellent combination plays to outsmart Iraq's South Gas Club Sports in straight sets (25-22, 25-18, 25-19), while the Philippines' PLDT Home TVolution endured Lebanon's Zahraa Al Minaa in the thrilling five-setter (25-19, 26-24, 13-25, 21-25, 15-13).
1. Iran – Matin Varamin
2. Qatar – Al-Rayyan
3. China – Baic Motor
4. Kazakhstan – Kondensat-Zhaikmunay
5. Chinese Taipei – Chinese Taipei
6. Iraq – South Gas Club Sports
7. Philippines – PLDT Home TVolution
8. Lebanon – Zahraa Al Minaa
9. United Arab Emirates – Alnasr Sports Club
10. Turkmenistan – Migrasiya
11. Vietnam – Duc Long Gia Lai
12. Oman - Sohar
13. Japan - Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler
14. Papua New Guinea – Amoa NCD
15. Hong Kong – Green Dragon
16. Mongolia – Altain Bars
First Best Outside Spiker: Maxim Samarin (KAZ - Kondensat-Zhaikmunay)
Second Best Outside Spiker: Cristian Savani (QAT - Al-Rayyan)
Best Libero: Sulaiman Said Saad (QAT - Al-Rayyan)
Best Setter: Li Runming (CHN - Baic Motor)
First Best Middle Blocker: Seyed Mohammad Mousavi E. (IRI - Matin Varamin)
Second Best Middle Blocker: Sharifat Mostafa (IRI - Matin Varamin)
Best Opposite Spiker: Vitaliy Vorivodin (KAZ - Kondensat-Zhaikmunay)
Most Valuable Player: Mahmoudi Kh. Shahram (IRI - Matin Varamin)
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