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Iran, Qatar, China and Kazakhstan finish top in pool competition at the Asian Men’s Club Championship

Maldives spiker tries to penetrate double blockers of Kazakhstan
Tehran, Iran, 23 April, 2013 – Kaleh of Iran, Al-Rayyan of Qatar, Liaoning of China and Almaty of Kazakhstan topped their respective pools at the preliminary round of the 2013 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championships on Tuesday.

Natural Gas Cooperation of India, Power of Chinese Taipei, South Gas of Iraq, and Toyoda Gosei Trefuef of Japan will join the pool leaders in the top eight of the classification round. The pools’ third and fourth finishers -- Uzbekistan, Maldives, Al–Ain of the United Arab Emirates, Jeunesse Baouchrieh of Lebanon and Saham of Oman -- will compete for the 9th -13th rankings.

The most exciting match of the day was the encounter between China and India in Pool C with Liaoning of China edging out Natural Gas Cooperation of India 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 25-16) in a match that lasted almost two hours.

Though falling behind, Natural Gas Cooperation fought aggressively with powerful attacks as well as effective serving, which helped India win the second set. They were also leading in the third set before the scores were tied at 10. The Chinese players strengthened their defense with saves and took the lead at 15-14. After the second technical timeout, China tried hard to maintain their lead until the end of the third set. With their 2-1 lead, China played with even more confidence leading 8-4 in the first technical timeout and then later by a wider margin.

In a press conference after the match, China’s coach Sui Shensheng said “Both teams did their best. We did not play as well as we did yesterday. However, India did not put much pressure on us. They were good at services and attacks but committed some errors in their attack.”

In Pool A, Power of Chinese Taipei team clinched a crucial match, beating Al-Ain of Emirates 3-1 (5-27, 25-21, 25-19, 25-23) which placed them in the top eight and second in the pool.

Having three foreign players in its line-up, Al-Ain made many errors in their attacks due mainly to lack of team coordination.

Rys Grzegorz, head coach of Al-Ain of UAE said “We did better in comparison with yesterday. It was a good match, but there was less time for my players to recover. In spikes we had more mistakes and we committed 17 errors.”

Chinese Taipei coach Yu Ching-Fang said, “The UAE is a good team. We did not work well in attack during the first set, so we lost. But we changed our attack system. We put more concentration on reception. Our attacker spiked from both sides of the net and blocked the middle spikes from the UAE.”

In Pool D, Almaty of Kazakhstan beat their weaker opponents the Maldives with ease in straight sets (25-11, 25-16, 25-17). But Toyoda Gosei Trefuef of Japan had to rally from a 1-2 deficit to earn a ticket to the next round with a tiebreaker fifth set (25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 29-27, 15-10).

Japan played steadily in the first set and took it with solid and powerful spikes. Their opponents rallied back to take the next two sets, putting Japan in a very critical situation. However, the Japanese players did not lose their confidence and tried their utmost to take the fourth and fifth set.

Head Coach of Toyoda said, “We were lucky to win and stay among the top eight. Today Oman played well and did good services.”

Saeed JUMA, head coach of SAHAM team from OMAN said, “Today we played against a strong team of Japan. Generally it was a good match. Japan’s blocks over the net were wonderful and this action caused disorder in our team and it was the main reason of our loss.”

In Pool B, Al-Rayyan of Qatar also had to play five sets to beat their pool’s last rival Iraq. The Qatar team placed first in the pool to enter the next round. They rallied from the first set down to grab the next three sets, winning their hard-fought match with a score of 3-2 (23-25,18-25, 25-22, 25-18, 15-8)

Travica Ljubomir, Serbian head coach of Qatar said, “Our service and reception was not good at first, but we changed it. High spirit, support and coverage of each other in the court helped us to win a five set match.”
The following are the complete pool results and rankings:

Pool A

Iran defeated Chinese Taipei 3-0 (32-30, 25-22, 25-17)
Iran defeated United Arab Emirates3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-19)
Chinese Taipei defeated UAE 3-1 (25-27, 25-21, 25-19, 25-23)

Rankings: 1.Iran, 2. Chinese Taipei, 3.United Arab Emirates

Pool B

Iraq defeated Uzbekistan 3-1 (21-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-16)
Qatar defeated Uzbekistan 3-0 (25-12, 26-24, 25-18)
Qatar defeated Iraq 3-2 (23-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-18, 15-8)

Rankings: 1.Qatar, 2. Iraq, 3. Uzbekistan

Pool C

India defeated Lebanon 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-21, 33-31)
China defeated Lebanon 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-18)
China defeated India 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 25-16)
Rankings: 1. China, 2. India, 3. Lebanon.

Pool D

Kazakhstan defeated Oman 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 25-19)
Japan defeated Maldives 3-0 (25-10, 25-9, 25-18)
Kazakhstan defeated Japan 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-20)
Oman defeated Maldives 3-1(25-17, 27-29, 25-16, 25-17)
Kazakhstan defeated Maldives 3-0 (25-11, 25-16, 25-17)
Japan defeated Oman 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 29-27,15-10)

Rankings: 1. Kazakhstan, 2. Japan, 3. Oman, 4. Maldives


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