Press release

Paykan remain unbeaten at Asian Club Championship

Iran's Paykan (white) and Thailand's Chang shake hands following their match on Wednesday

Palembang, Indonesia, July 27, 2011 –  Fired-up Paykan of Iran became the only team to remain unbeaten run at the end of the pool round-robin preliminaries of the 2011 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship in Palembang, Indonesia on Wednesday as they saw off Chang of Thailand.

The top Asian clubs are battling it out for a spot at the 2011 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship in Doha, Qatar in October.

Also tasting victory in the final match of the preliminaries were Kazakhstan’s Almaty, China’s Tang Dynasty, Japan’s Sakai Blazers, Myanmar’s Asia World Club and Uzbekistan’s Uzbektelecom.

The powerfully-built Paykan, reigning and five-time champions, overwhelmed Chang with their incredible attacking ability, lightning-fast spikes and solid blocking to brush aside their Thai counterparts in straight sets (25-18, 25-19, 25-18).

After the match, Thai coach Monchai Supajirakul admitted that despite the loss, he was satisfied with his team’s performance.

“I just wanted to rest our best players for the next match against either China or Japan,” Monchai said. “That match will be more important than this because we have already booked the quarter-final ticket. There, we have to play our best. For us, we have nowhere to go but up and hope for the best.”
“Paykan are the strongest team in this tournament,” he added. “They have every quality sufficient to win the title. Their serves and spikes are very powerful, while their teamwork is excellent and blocking is just impassable. However, I’m upbeat that we still have chances of advancing to the semi-finals if we maintain our top form and try to make the least possible mistakes.”
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s PTSC almost became giant-killers for the second time as they took the first two sets against China’s Tang Dynasty 25-22, 25-16.

They came whisker of winning the third set and the match after taking a 24-22 lead, only to produce an erratic serve which cost them. Tang Dynastic caught their rivals at 27-27 and played consistently to win the thrilling set 29-27. From then on, the Chinese never looked back, taking the remaining two sets 25-22 and 15-13 and the tiring battle.

“In the first two sets, we could not catch up with the pace set by Vietnam, but we played more consistently in the next two sets,” Tang coach Wang Jiang said. “We tried to maintain our concentration and score point by point to take the fifth set. Until now, it’s rather difficult to say that we can win the championship. We have to improve on many mistakes. However, I hope my players will do their best in the remaining matches.”

The other closely-contested encounter between Kazakhstan’s Almaty and Qatar’s Al Rayyan SC saw the tall and towering Kazakhs survive a sturdy challenge from the aggressive Qataris to brush them aside in straight sets (25-22, 25-23, 25-20).

Indonesia’s Bank Sumsel Babel played in front of more than 3,500 spectators packing the Palembang Sport and Convention Center Gymnasium, but still failed to make their mark in a daunting match against Japan’s Sakai Blazers, going down in straight sets (25-21, 25-23, 25-22).

In the clash of the four winless teams in the eight-day tournament, Uzbektelecom of Uzbekistan and Myanmar’s Asia World Club eventually broke the jinx on Wednesday, with the former outclassing Afghanistan’s Etisalat in straight sets (25-18, 28-26, 25-17) and the latter struggling to beat Turkmenistan’s Talyp Sport in a gruelling five sets (21-25, 25-16, 23-25, 25-21, 15-10).

At the end of the pool round-robin preliminaries on Wednesday, Sakai Blazers emerged as winners in Pool A, claiming 12 points as Tang Dynasty came second with four wins against one loss.

PTSC bagged 10 points from three wins against two losses to come third while Bank Sumsel Babel collected eight points from a similar performance - three wins against two losses, to finish fourth. Uzbektelecom and Etisalat finished fifth and sixth respectively.

In Pool B, undefeated Paykan have yet to lose a single match in the tournament and top the pool as expected, claiming the full 15 points from five wins. Almaty finished second with 12 points from four wins against one loss. Al Rayyan collected eight points from three wins against two losses to finish third.

Chang bagged seven points from two wins against three losses to finish fourth in the pool, with Asia World Club and Taylp Sport in fifth and sixth positions with two and one point respectively.

On Thursday, Uzbektelecom take on Talyp Sport and Asia World Club play Etisalat in the 9th-12th classification round. The 1st-8th quarterfinals see Sakai Blazers challenge Chang, Tang Dynasty face Al Rayyan, Paykan take on Bank Sumsel Babel and PTSC go up against Almaty.

Wednesday’s results of the pool round-robin preliminaries

Pool A
Tang Dynasty (China) b PTSC (Vietnam) 3-2 (22-25 16-25 29-27 25-22 15-13)
Sakai Blazers (Japan) b Bank Sumsel Babel (Indonesia) 3-0 (25-21 25-23 25-22)
Uzbektelecom (Uzbekistan) b Etisalat (Afghanistan) 3-0 (25-18 28-26 25-17)

Pool B
Almaty (Kazakhstan) b Al Rayyan (Qatar) 3-0 (25-22 25-23 25-20)
Paykan (Iran) b Chang (Thailand) 3-0 (25-18 25-19 25-18)
Asia World Club (Myanmar) b Talyp Sport (Turkmenistan) 3-2 (21-25 25-14 23-25 25-21 15-10)

Match schedule, Thursday, July 28, 2011
10.00am: Uzbektelecom (Uzbekistan) v Talyp Sport (Turkmenistan)
12.00pm: Asia World Club (Myanmar) v Etisalat (Afghanistan)
14.00pm: Sakai Blazers (Japan) v Chang (Thailand)
16.00pm: Paykan (Iran) v Bank Sumsel Babel (Indonesia)
18.00pm: Tang Dynasty (China) v Al Rayyan (Qatar)
20.00pm: Almaty (Kazakhstan) v PTSC (Vietnam)

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