Mon, Apr 22, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Taiwan’s Taichung Bank top Pool A after round-robin

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Members of Taiwan’s Taichung Bank congratulate teammate Chiao Shuan-cheng, center, yesterday at their Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship game at the University of Taipei Gymnasium.

Photo provided by Chinese Taipei Volleyball Association

Taiwan’s Taichung Bank team advanced from group play at the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship after they defeated the Queensland Pirates, but lost to the Chennai Spartans at the Tianmu Sports Center in Taipei.

With two wins in two games, Taichung Bank topped Pool A after round-robin action, with the Australian-based club second with a 1-1 record and Singapore last with two losses.

With support from 3,500 supporters, Taichung Bank on Saturday hit winners consistently to take victory in three sets over Queensland, 25-17, 25-17, 25-17.

However, they slumped to defeat last night in their final-eight match against the Indian-based team, losing 23-25, 25-16, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11.

In the final game of the night, Taichung Bank faced a tough opponent in the Spartans, with the scorecard indicating just how closely matched the two teams were.

Taichung Bank won two of the first three sets, but the Spartans forced a tie-breaker with a win in the fourth and closed out the decider.

The Taiwanese club entered the final-eight group containing Al Rayyan of Qatar, the Spartans and the Pirates.

Taichung Bank coach Moro Branslav said that it would be tough against stronger teams in this phase, as the opposition have tall players, some over 2m, with good skills.

They have a height advantage, the Serbian said.

“We have to face them head on and give our best effort. I will not put too much pressure on our players,” he said.

“It is more important for them to build up team chemistry and trust each other on the court,” he said.

Later yesterday, Al Rayyan put on a robust performance to triumph over the Pirates, 25-21, 25-17, 25-21.

Japan’s Panasonic Panthers and Shahrdari Varamin of Iran head up the other final-eight group, which also contains Sri Lanka Ports Authority and TP Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam.

Action from this group had Shahrdari Varamin beating Ho Chi Minh in straight sets, 25-22, 25-20, 25-20 in the morning game, while the Panthers were also impressive, rolling over Sri Lanka Ports Authority in the afternoon, also in straight sets, 25-21, 25-23, 25-21.

Other teams at the tournament come from Indonesia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Hong Kong.

Taichung Bank face Al Rayyan at 6:30pm today in Tianmu.

Tomorrow is a rest day and quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals will be held from Wednesday to Friday.

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