Asian Men's Championships moves into day 2 of action
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, September 29, 2013 – Six matches of the Asian Senior Men’s Championship have taken place on the second day of the tournament, with the last six matches of the Preliminary Round will be played on Monday to determine the five berths left and the final ranking of each pool.
Qatar defeat India in 5 sets
On Sunday in the first fixture at the Hamdan Sports Complex, arch rivals India and Qatar went straight into battle but on a tentative note without many open face attacks in an error prone first set before India raced to a 23-15 jump. India allowed Qatar little room thereafter to cross over with a 25-17 (1-0) reading.
The second set was closely fought but with the same amount of unforced errors from both sides especially at the net, in the passing section and during the digs. Indian makeshift libero Sharka Pankaj, unusually tall for his role, was found wanting on many occasions while his counterpart Sulaiman Saad worked overtime to neutralise the disguised drops and short lift dabs of the Indian attacker GR Vaishnav.
Saeed Al Obaidan was a lone ranger as far as the Qatari offence was concerned initially for they over depended on him to deliver at the net. The Indian main block force led by Prabagaran worked only in shorts periods when Qatar began to tighten up in their receiving. The second set was at Qatar’s side with 25-21.
Despite this the Indians galloped ahead (20-18) following a crucial net touch dispute by the Qataris to nudge forward. The Indians wrapped up the set for a 2-1 sitting at 25-23 following a spate of errors by the Maroons.
Skipper Gurinder Singh and setter M. Ukkra Pandian provided good base support in attack and defence in the fourth for India but the Qataris stormed back into contention with a 25-23 fourth set verdict in their favour (2-2) to push the issue into the deciding rubber, which the Qataris led briefly in the early stages for a deserving 15-13 victory (3-2).
“We have not brought our regular libero and an attacker due to last minute injuries. The officiating was definitely far from satisfactory but that’s how it is in a game. Playing Australia next is a tough proposition where we could have run into Bahrain if we managed a win today (Sunday),” said Indian coach Dr Bir Singh Yadav.
Igor Arbutina, Qatar’s coach said, “Playing against India is always a great challenge for us. We played well within our limitations but some individual performances got us the top Pool G spot.”
Bahrain test Aussie skills
At Al Nasr Club, the second venue, Australia who are here with a young future team withstood Bahrain’s tremendous fightback before registering a 3-1 win (25-17, 25-18, 28-30, 27-25).
Champs Iran outplay Kuwait
Day 2 of the event witnessed a lively flag waving Iranian crowd including school children in uniforms cheer and literally “charge up” their national side to another thumping win in Pool C action on Sunday.
Favorites Iran maintained their tempo to finish on top in Pool C with a polished performance for a 3-0 scoreline against Kuwait.
Amir Ghafour, the Iranian universal and another leading attacker sat out of the match to allow room for the upcoming talent to show their skills. The youngsters did not disappoint for a 25-13, 25-12, 25-17 victory over the Gulf Blues.
Korea defeat Iraq 3-0
The fast moving and stylish South Korea encountered some problems in the journey across the Iraqis whose blocks have been the best seen so far in in the championships.
However, the burly youngsters from the Far East combined beautifully and resorted to the short backline passing game with swift distribution work. They hardly had any lift to the ball for the killer short spikes that puzzled the Iraqis.
The Iraqis who led 5-0 in the second set before the astute Korean coach Park Kiwon called a team time-out. The Koreans won 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-19)where their universal Jeon Kwangin who was outstanding with 18 points from 39 attempts.
In the final game, China stopped Saudi aspirations 3-0 (28-26, 25-18, 25-22) at the Hamdan SC while Japan brushed aside Oman by an identical scoreline (25-12, 25-17, 25-14) at Al Nasr Club in Karama, some 37km away.
Matches on Monday (September 30) All UAE times (GMT + 4)
At Hamdan Sports Complex:
12:00pm - Kazakhstan v
At Al Nasr Club
4:00pm – Sri Lanka v Japan