Tianjin, China, October 12, 2013 – Chinese Taipei will challenge Japan in the gold-medal match in the men's volleyball tournament at the East Asian Games on Sunday, after both teams won their semifinals. Chinese Taipei defeated Korea 3-0 (25-11, 25-15, 25-18) and Japan beat China in straight sets (25-17, 25-22, 25-22) in the Nankai University Sports Center on Saturday.
Chinese Taipei vs. Korea 3-0
Chinese Taipei took only 59 minutes to score a convincing victory over Korea, in straight sets - which proved as easy as their previous match-up in the preliminary round, when Chinese Taipei again trounced the Koreans 3-0.
Korea’s struggle surfaced early in the opening set as Chinese Taipei established its ascendancy in the three-set duel. Chinese Taipei dictated the tempo of the match mainly coming from the attacking barrage. Korea lagged behind only two points at 6-8 before Chinese Taipei had a 5-0 run for seven-points lead 16-9 at the second technical timeout. Their attacks continued, closing the set at 25-11.
In facing the Chinese Taipei’s scoring machine Huang Chien Feng and Liu Hung Ming who bagged 15 and 10 points respectively, Korea looked helpless and could not break the momentum of Chinese Taipei in the second set. Huang brought home six points, including one block, while Liu added nine hitting winners and one ace in the set. Chinese Taipei prevailed at 25-15.
Korea played a bit better to lead 8-7 at the first technical timeout in the third set, but their weak defence and unsound blocking became Korea’s points of exploit. Chinese Taipei soon dominated the Koreans again and ballooned immensely, which was difficult already to upstage. An erroneous serve from Korea sealed the set 25-18 and the match for Chinese Taipei.
Chinese Taipei had the big advantage in blocking (10-4) and topped the aces department 3-0. They also made fewer errors 12-25.
Japan vs. China 3-0
Japan showed sheer dominance against China in straight sets 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-22) in the second semifinals, and will play against Chinese Taipei for the gold medal.
The strong presence of the Japanese at the net both in spiking and blocking drew positive results for Japan while China committed major blunders on their serve and spike.
The first two sets crept along slowly with each point closely contested until the first technical timeout was called, with Japan having the same scores of 8-6 ahead. Then Japanese stretched the lead and kept up the pressure in attack to move further in front. China’s efforts to cope with Japanese powerful hitting always failed to bring results. Japan took the sets at 25-17 and 25-22.
Japan showed a bit of weakness and carelessness in the early stage of the third set, as China led for a while and leveled the scorers several times later. Japan’s maturity and experience, however, began to tell and they were 16-14 in front at the second technical timeout. Japan ace hitter Hoshino Hidetomo’s hot hands blazed assaults into the Chinese side. Japan managed to inch their way to 22-20, and the match had already taken a negative turn for China who eventually succumbed the set 22-25 and the match, lasting 80 minutes.
China will play against Korea for the bronze medal in the first match on Sunday, followed by the gold medal match between Chinese Taipei and Japan.