Chinese Taipei maintain momentum on day five of East Asian games
Tianjin, China, October 10, 2013 – Chinese Taipei survived a strong come back by China while Japan claimed victory over Korea on day five of the men’s volleyball tournament at the 6th East Asian Games here on Thursday.
After five days of action, Chinese Taipei remained undefeated with seven points from three outings. China and Japan earned seven points, while Korea took three. Hong Kong has not won any points yet. Only the top four teams will enter the semi-finals.
October 11 is the last day of robin round play with Japan playing against Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei challenging Korea.
Chinese Taipei v. China 3-2
Chinese Taipei pulled off a hard-fought five-set win 3-2 (25-20, 25-18, 21-25, 22-25, 15-10) over China to keep a perfect win-loss record.
Chinese Taipei, who arrived here on October 7 after finishing in ninth place at the Asian Senior Volleyball Championship in Dubai (UAE), attacked hard right from the opening whistle in a tough match against China.
Chinese Taipei used their exceptional offensive attacking mobility with veteran spikers Huang Chien Feng and Wang Ming Chun and their blocks to take the first two sets 25-22, 25-18. The two Chinese Taipei top scorers scored 22 and 26 points each for their team.
The match dynamic changed in the third and fourth set when China did their utmost to make counter attacks while players from Chinese Taipei seemed too relaxed, lost their concentration and made errors.
The attacking skills from the 210cm-high opposite Zhang Zhejia (22 points) and wing spiker Xia Runtao (11 points), the two top scorers for China, allowed the team to make a successful comeback in the third and fourth sets, which they won 25-21, 25-22, forcing the match into the fifth set.
However, Chinese Taipei dominated the whole set, leading 10-4 and 14-7. Though China saved three match points, their efforts were short-lived as Huang Chien Feng closed the set 15-10 with a terrific spike to win the 129 minutes match.
China and Chinese Taipei each had 63 spike wins and one ace. However, Chinese Taipei held their advantage in blocks (17-10), while China totalled 27 errors compared to 24 by Chinese Taipei.
Japan vs. Korea 3-1
Japan tried hard to brush off Korea in four sets 3-1 (25-17, 25-18, 23-25, 25-22) to capture their second victory.
Japan dominated Korea in the first set with 8-6 and 16-12 leads at the two technical time-outs. The opening frame closed 25-17. The second set went on in the same pattern with Japan leading 8-6 and 16-10. Korea stayed out of reach the rest of the way as they committed six errors in attacking and serving. The set finished 25-18.
The third set was closely fought as Korea recovered sufficiently to lead 8-4 and 16-12 at the technical time-outs. They did it by establishing a good defensive game at the net, blocking and touching most of the opponents’ attacks, and excellent saves in the back court. But Japan narrowed a five point deficit from 13-18 to 23-24 before Ahn Woojae, best scorer of the game with 22 points, including two blocks and two aces, to fire a devastating spike from the wing to end the set.
The fourth set saw Japan come out again with an excellent display. They played every part of the game well to gain every point they made out of their determined attempts. As Japan led with a commanding 24-19 needing only one more point to win the set and the match, Korea stormed back to save three match-points before a brilliant block from Japan ended Korea’s entire challenge. Japan captured the set 25-22 and the match.
The Japanese committed 33 errors while Korea had only 23. But they out-spiked Korea 57-37 and added 14 block winners to their records. Korea had only seven wins in blocking.
Japan will play against Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei will challenge Korea on Friday to decide the men’s final ranking in the preliminary round for the semi-finals.