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August 14, 2019

Pakistan finish fourth in Asian Men’s Under-23 Volleyball


August 14, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan finished fourth when they went 0-3 down against Japan in the bronze medal encounter of the 3rd Asian Men’s Under-23 Volleyball Championship at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, on Sunday.

Against the taller Pakistan, the Japanese got off to a brilliant start to win the first set 25-18. Murad Khan and Ali Usman Faryad brought Pakistan back on track with their exceptional spikes and blocks to help them take the lead with a five-point clear at 10-5 in the second set. Still Japan performed superbly both in defense and attack to reduce the margin and win the close set 25-23 for a 2-0 advantage.

In the third set, Pakistan found Japan a tough nut to crack and surrendered to the irresistible rivals 18-25 to lose the game by a big margin. After remaining undefeated until the semi-finals, Pakistan had lost to India 3-1 in the pre-final.

Pakistan Volleyball Federation’s (PVF) chairman Chaudhry Yaqoob was not happy with his team’s performance in the last two games in the 16-team event. “Pakistan beat Chinese Taipei, the eventual champions, in the preliminaries. That was a proof that Pakistan could beat any team if they put in their best,” Yaqoob said.

“The unbeaten team of the tournament played very bad against India in the Saturday’s semi-final and missed the chance to play in the final. Against Japan, Pakistan also lost their spirit because of the misfortune they faced against India earlier. They took the lead in the second set but could not maintain it,” he said.

However, he was quick to add that it was good that Pakistan finished fourth. Japan head coach Gordon L Mayforth said that his team needed more experience. “We could have won the match against Chinese Taipei in the semi-finals but we missed such an opportunity. We had chances to win but at the same time Chinese Taipei are also a strong team. My players made so many mistakes,” Gordon said.

Meanwhile, Chinese Taipei stamped their authority as they romped to a 3-1 win over India in the final to win the gold medal. The set scores were 25-21, 25-20, 19-25, 25-23.

Chinese Taipei lost only one game in the entire event when they were beaten by Pakistan in the preliminaries. Chinese Taipei took the first two sets 25-21, 25-20 due to solid defence work and Chang Yu-Sheng’s destructive attacks.

India showed great resolve and reduced the deficit to 1-2 when they sealed the third set 25-19. The fourth set also turned out to be a tight one with both sides putting in their best. Chinese Taipei showed their real guts as they played with great plan to unsettle Indians in the closest fourth set which they won 25-23 to emerge as the champions.

Chang Yu-Sheng scored the highest 29 points for Chinese Taipei and Chan Minhan contributed with 16 points.

India’s spiker Amit scored 20 for his side. “This was a blocking failure for us. When we fail in our block we always lose the match and this always happens with our team when playing against strong teams like China, Japan, Chinese Taipei, and Iran,” India head coach Chauhan Pritam Singh said after the match.

Chinese Taipei head coach Moro Branslav said the victory brought smiles to the face of Chinese Taipei’s people. “For me the best victory is to give smiles to people and I think this victory brought smiles to people of Chinese Taipei. The gold medal might change the attitude of people towards volleyball,” Moro said.

In the fifth-position outing, Kazakhstan downed China 3-2.

Australia bulldozed Sri Lanka 3-0 in the seventh-position match.

Vietnam edged past hosts Myanmar 3-0 in the ninth-place showdown.

Thailand crushed Bahrain 3-0 in the 11th place encounter.

Qatar finished at the 13th spot when they prevailed over Hong Kong 3-1. Saudi Arabia ended 15th after beating New Zealand 3-0.

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