Final Rankings of AVC Cup for Men
Iran underlined their supremacy over the “SMM” 5th AVC Cup for Men at the Nakhon Pathom Gymnasium after overpowering arch rivals China with a magnificent comeback 3-1 (23-25 25-23 25-21 25-21) victory in the heart-pounding, hard-fought final showdown on Wednesday.
Earlier, Asian champions Japan claimed bronze medal after wedging out Chinese Taipei 3-1 (25-18 17-25 28-26 25-12) in the third-place playoff.
Chinese Taipei, whose most players joined the gold-winning Taichung Bank VC at the last year’s Asian Men’s Club Championship on home soil, fielded a formidable line-up included Liu Hong-Jie, Chen Chien-Chen and left-hander Wu Tsung-Hsuan, while Japan were powered by ace spiker Yuki Ishikawa, who won the Best Outside Hitter award at the 2015 FIVB World Cup and the second Best Outside Hitter award at this year’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament, and hefty Issei Otake.
Yuki Ishikawa led Japan with 22 points including 16 kills from 31 attempts and 4 aces. Kenta Takanashi added with 12 kills. Wang Ming-Chun tallied 13 points for Chinese Taipei including 12 kills. Chen Chien-Chen added with 10 kills. Liu Hong-Jie contributed with 3 kill blocks.
“It was a tough match for us. We did our best. In the second set, Chinese Taipei came up with great serves and we could not cope with their tactics. These Japanese players will now have a bright future as we are preparing them for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. It’s a pity we could not make it to the final as we have initially eyed for the gold medal. However, the third place is not that bad,” Japan’s head coach Shingo Sakai commented after the match.
Meanwhile, the remaining playoffs earlier saw Kazakhstan prove too strong for Australia to take home the fifth place after brushing off the rivals in straight sets 25-17 25-17 25-21.
Hosts Thailand stun defending champions Korea in convincing straight sets 28-26 25-17 25-17 to take the seventh place, bettering their 8th-place finish at the previous edition in Kazakhstan two years ago. Korea, which powered past India in the final showdown to reign supreme in 2014, fielded a fully-fledged team players from Korean universities this time and had to finish at the bottom among all participating eight teams. Last week, Korea also finished eighth position at the AVC Cup for Women in Vinh Phuc, Vietnam, giving the Koreans the eighth place in both men’s and women’s teams at this year’s AVC Cup.
WEDNESDAY’S FINAL RESULTS
7th-8th: Thailand b Korea 3-0 (28-26 25-17 25-17)
5th-6th: Kazakhstan b Australia 3-0 (25-17 25-20 25-21)
Bronze-medal match: Japan b Chinese Taipei 3-1 (25-18 17-25 28-26 25-12)
Championship match: Iran b China 3-1 (23-25 25-23 25-21 25-21)
- Chinese Taipei
Best Setter: Shohei Yamaguchi (No.3 Japan)
Best Libero: Tung Li-Yi (No.5 Chinese Taipei)
Best Outside Spikers
- Liu Libin (No.1 China)
- Rahman Davoodi (No.11 Iran)
Best Middle Blockers
- Miao Ruantong (No.9 China)
- Masoud Gholami Renani (No.9 Iran)
Best Opposite Spiker: Jiang Chuan (No.2 China)
Most Valuable Player: Alireza Behbodi (No.13 Iran)