Press release

Thailand, China to face off in Asian Women’s Club finale

D. Olga Olga from Zhetyssu of Kazakshtan fights against Li Ying (No.18) and Wang Ning from Tianjin Bridgestone of China over the net

Vinh Phuc, Vietnam, June 24, 2011 – Defending champions Chang of Thailand and six-time gold medallists Tianjin Bridgestone of China will go head-to-head in the final of the 2011 Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship after winning their semifinal matches on Friday. The champions will qualify for the FIVB World Club Championship to be staged in Doha later this year.
Host country Vietnam’s Thongtinlienviet Bank bowed out of gold-medal contention as they succumbed to Chang in a five-set epic: 21-25, 21-25, 25-14, 25-16, 15-10. The Vietnamese started off strongly with a fiery offence powered by the team’s commendable reception. The Thais bounced back to escape elimination by working their quick combination plays to good advantage. Onuma Sittirak surged to the rescue by scoring a total of 21 points in Chang’s victorious advance into the finals.
Tianjin Bridgestone secured the other final berth by defeating Zhetyssu of Kazakshtan in four sets: 25-20, 25-20, 16-25, 25-23. Team captain Yin Na amassed 26 points to steer the Chinese club to victory over last year’s runners-up. China is looking to snatch its seventh gold since its first participation in 1999.
Kensyokai Red Hearts of Japan won Friday’s opening match against the Philippines’ Shakeys 3-0 (26-24, 25-12, 25-19). The Philippine club team had a solid start in the first set, connecting with their attempts at the net, but the Japanese rallied and showed better control. Shakeys eventually succumbed to the quicker Japanese line-up, who easily varied and adjusted their plays as needed. Team captain Yumie Taniguchi demonstrated her leadership for the Japanese side with 17 points. Hitters Haruka Ohnishi and Yuki Nagano did their fair share for Kensyokai Red Hearts with 15 points each.
Perspolisse of Iran likewise succeeded in their match against Garuda of Indonesia, beating their rivals 3-1 (25-16, 22-25, 25-13, 25-18). Iranian coach Mitra Shabanian was pleased with his team’s performance but was quick to point out there is still room for improvement. 
“We want to train even more to become better in our technique,” Shabanian said, referring to the dropped set against the Indonesians. The Iranian team will play against the Japanese side for fifth place on Saturday.
Chang (THA) def. Thongtinlienviet Bank (VIE) 3-2 (21-25, 21-25, 25-14, 25-16, 15-10)
Tianjin Bridgestone (CHN) def. Zhetyssu (KAZ) 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 16-25, 25-23)
Kensyokai Red Hearts (JPN) def. Shakeys (PHI) 3-0 (26-24, 25-12, 25-19)
Perspolisse (IRI) def. Garuda (INA) 3-1 (25-16, 22-25, 25-13, 25-18)
Final playoffs
7th – 8th: Garuda (INA) vs. Shakeys (PHI)
5th – 6th: Perspolisse (IRI) vs. Kensyokai Red Hearts (JPN)
3rd – 4th: Thongtinlienviet Bank (VIE) vs. Zhetyssu (KAZ)
1st- 2nd: Chang (THA) vs. Tianjin Bridgestone (CHN)

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