FIVB Volleyball Club World Championships 2012

Press release

Tianjin seal Club World champs berth

Tianjin Bridgestone celebrate after they clinched their fourth Asian Club Championship crown in Thailand on Sunday

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, April 30, 2012 – China’s Tianjin Bridgestone sealed their place at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship on Sunday after coming from behind to see off Japan’s Toray Arrows 3-2 (21-25, 25-18, 25-23, 17-36, 18-16) in a thrilling Princess Cup Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship final in Nakhon Ratchsima, Thailand on Sunday.

It was the fourth time Tianjin have captured the prestigious HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn trophy and they will now travel to Doha, Qatar from October 13 to 19 for the Club World Championship.

Tianjin, eight-time Chinese Volleyball League champions, landed their maiden Asian Women’s Club title in 2005 and continued their supremacy in 2006, 2008 and now 2012.

Contesting their sixth final in the Asian Women’s Club Championship, the gritty Tianjin, which stunned defending and three-time winners Chang in three sets in Saturday’s semifinals, had two powerful hitters in Chen Liyi and Yin Na who both contributed to the a heart-stopping encounter against the never-say-die Toray Arrows.

The spirited Toray, cheered on by a number of noisy supporters carrying the Toray banners, were strengthened by powerful attackers Arisa Takada and Kaori Kodaira. The Japanese came out in full force, taking Tianjin’s aggression to the limit with their gutsy display to take the opening set 25-21.

Explosive Yin Na and Zhang Xiaoting helped the Chinese side bounce back when they tore the Japanese defence apart with their exceptional spikes before handing Tianjin the next two sets 25-18 and 25-23.

But Toray tightened their defence in the fourth to bring the scores level with a 25-17 set win.

Tianjin took a narrow 17-16 lead in the nail-biting tie-breaker before a fierce Kaori Kodaira attack was blocked by the Chinese club as they edged the win.

Zhang Xiaoting scored a match-high 23 points including 19 kills and four blocks for Tianjin, while Arisa Takada top-scored with 25 points for Toray.

Earlier hosts Chang sealed bronze by holding off Kazakhstan’s Zhetyssu in straight sets (25-21, 25-10, 25-18) in the third-place play-off. Powerful Wilavan Apinyapong and Onuma Sittirak took turns tearing the Kazakh defence into shreds with their explosive attacks.

In the playoffs earlier on in the day, Vietnam’s VTV Binh Dien Long An took fifth place following a dramatic 3-1 (26-24, 25-14, 16-25, 25-17) victory over Iran’s Gitipasand, while Myanmar’s Asia World VC powered past San Barbara Polo & Racquet of Malaysia in five sets (25-13, 25-21, 18-25, 23-25, 15-11) to take seventh.     

Sunday’s Finals
7th-8th: Asia World VC (MYA) b San Barbara (MAS) 3-2 (25-13 25-21 18-25 23-25 15-11)
5th-6th: Binh Dien (VIE) b Gitipasand (IRI) 3-1 (26-24 25-14 16-25 25-17)
Bronze-medal match: Chang (THA) b Zhetyssu (KAZ) 3-0 (25-21 25-10 25-18)
Championship match: Tianjin Bridgestone (CHN) b Toray Arrows (JPN) 3-2 (21-25 25-18 25-23 17-25 18-16)

Team rankings
1.    Tianjin Bridgestone (CHN)
2.    Toray Arrows (JPN)
3.    Chang (THA)
4.    Zhetyssu (KAZ)
5.    VTV Binh Dien Long An (VIE)
6.    Gitipasand (IRI)
7.    Asia World VC (MYA)
8.    San Barbara Polo & Racquet (MAS)
9.    S.L.B.F.E (SRI)

Individual Awards
Best Scorer: Arisa Takada (No.6)….Toray Arrows (JPN)
Best Server: Nootsara Tomkom (No.13)…Chang (THA)
Best Spiker: Zhang Xiaoting (No.12)…Tianjin Bridgestone (CHN)
Best Blocker: Wang Ning (No.2)…..Tianjin Bridgestone (CHN)
Best Setter: Yao Di (No.16)….Tianjin Bridgestone (CHN)
Best Libero: Wang Qian (No.9) ….Tianjin Bridgestone (CHN)
Most Valuable Player: Yin Na (No,7)…Tianjin Bridgestone (CHN)

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