Press release

PTSC stun Blazers as Asian Club champs moves on

Vietnam's PTSC celebrate as they seal a stunning win over Japan's Sakai Blazers on Tuesday

Palembang, Indonesia, July 27, 2011 – Teams from South-East Asia flexed their muscles against stronger sides in the 2011 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship on Tuesday as PTSC  stunned Sakai Blazers and Chang shocked Qatari Al Rayyan as qualification for the 2011 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship continued.

The winner of the tournament will book their place at the tournament in Doha, Qatar later this year.
In a splendid display somewhere near their best, PTSC stopped the unbeaten run of Japan’s Sakai Blazers with a remarkable performance.
The 25-23 win over the Japanese in the opening set gave PTSC a big boost and from then, they went all-out and played every part of the game magnificently. Though going down in the second set 22-25, the Vietnamese took the third set 25-23, lost the fourth 17-25 but won the decider 16-14.
Chang also wrote a similar script in their match as they ground out a thrilling five-set win over Al Rayyan. Though the determined Thais went down to the hefty Qataris on Tuesday, they received a boost from Indonesian fans and duly delivered with a gutsy display.
Despite the loss to the Qataris, Chang have already booked their quarter-final berth due to the better match ratio than Turkmenistan’s Talyp Sport and Myanmar’s Asia World Club, both of whom are yet to win a match in Pool B.

Chang, fielding all national players whose team performed superbly to finish fourth at the last year’s Guangzhou-hosted Asian Games and the third place at the recent Asia Pacific Cup in Fukuoka, Japan, lost the first two sets, but clawed their way back to take the next two sets, thanks largely to the talented Jirayu Raksakaew’s spectacular spikes and powerful jump serves from Wanchai Tabwises.

However, Thai hopes evaporated in the decider as Al Rayyan, who fielded high-profiled spikers including Serbian Konstantin Cupkovic, used their height and experience to win the crucial set 15-11 and with it the match.

The hard-attacking Jirayu Raksakaew scored a high of 33 points including 30 explosive spikes for Chang, while Cupkovic collected 25 points for Al Rayyan.

After the match, Thai coach Monchai Supajirakul expressed his satisfaction over his team’s impressive performance.

“We played well up to our standard,” he said. “The Qataris are strongly-built and much taller than us. To attack them effectively is not an easy thing. We then decided to send the 200cm-tall Yamin Traore to maximize our blocking capacity. He did a good job. Despite the loss, I’m happy with my team’s improved form.”

“We take on Iran’s Paykan next, defending and five-time consecutive champions,” Supajurakul added. “They are very strong and we might need a miracle to beat them in straight sets to make sure we finish third in Pool B. If not, we have to finish fourth in the pool and will take on Pool A’s champions China’s Tang Dynasty, one of the strongest teams with the fully-fledged players, instead.”
Meanwhile Indonesia’s Bank Sumsel Babel pounded Afghanistan’s Etisalat in straight sets (25-19, 25-16, 25-16) to the delight of over 3,000 spectators.

Despite suffering four losses in a row, Etisalat coach Yousuf Sadeq is happy that his team have a chance to learn from other sides.

“It’s the first time we are taking part in the Asian Men’s Club meet,” he said. “Every match we have played is our new experience. We learn from the other teams. We are happy although we have yet won a single match here. To contest the Asian Men’s Club here is our new thing and it’s always the most difficult to start a new thing we have never known its future. I think we have learned many things and will bring them with us when return.”

Myanmar’s Asia World Club briefly mounted a strong challenge against defending champions and 2011 Club World Championship bronze medallists Paykan of Iran. Their explosive spikes caught their Iranian counterparts flat-footed several times before the powerfully-built Iranians stormed back to clinch the three-set battle (25-21, 25-20, 25-17).

China’s Tang Dynasty continued their remarkable form to sweep past Uzbekistan’s Uzbektelecom in comfortable straight sets (25-19, 25-18, 25-16) as Kazakhstan’s Almaty survived an epic 78-point first-set from Turkmenistan’s Talyp Sport to snatch a 3-0 (40-38, 25-14, 25-13) win.

All participating teams will have their final match in the pool round-robin preliminaries on Wednesday before they will be classified in their own groups. The top four teams from each group will advance to play in the quarterfinals, with the remaining two teams contesting the 9th-12th classification round.
Tuesday’s results of the pool round-robin preliminaries
Pool A
PTSC (Vietnam) b Sakai Blazers (Japan) 3-2 (25-23 22-25 25-23 17-25 16-14)
Tang Dynasty (China) b Uzbektelecom (Uzbekistan) 3-0 (25-19 25-18 25-16)
Bank Sumsel Babel (Indonesia) b Etisalat (Afghanistan) 3-0 (25-19 25-15 25-16)
Pool B
Al Rayyan SC (Qatar) b Chang (Thailand) 3-2 (25-18 28-26 24-26 20-25 15-11)
Akmaty (Kazakhstan) b (Talyp Sport) Turkmenistan 3-0 (40-38 25-14 25-13)
Paykan (Iran) b Asia World Club (Myanmar) 3-0 (25-21 25-20 25-17)
Match schedule Wednesday, July 27
10.00am: Almaty (Kazakhstan) v Al Rayyan SC (Qatar)
12.00pm: Tang Dynasty (China) v PTSC (Vietnam)
14.00pm: Chang (Thailand) v Paykan (Iran)
16.00pm: Sakai Blazers (Japan) v Bank Sumsel Babel (Indonesia)
18.00pm: Talyp Sport (Turkmenistan) v Asia World Club (Myanmar)
20.00pm: Uzbektelecom (Uzbekistan) v Etisalat (Afghanistan)

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