Shanghai downs Panthers 3-1 in Asian men's volleyball club championship

09:04, June 08, 2010      

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China's Shanghai team pulled off a shock to down Panasonic Panthers from Japan 3-1 at the 2010 Asian men's volleyball club championship in Zhejiang on Monday.

The Chinese club beat their opponents 25-22, 23-25, 25-21 and 25-23 with quick attack and sound defense amid noisy cheers from local fans.

Shanghai, who had defeated BNI 46 from Indonesia 3-0 in the eight-team competition, started the opening set bravely against Panthers by taking an early lead 8-6 and maintained it to 20-17.

The Japanese pulled it back within 21-19, but the Chinese spikers managed to keep their advantage to 24-22 before winning at 25-22.

Led by Kunihiro Shimizu, Panthers dominated the second set as their powerful services caused a big trouble for Shanghai, who can barely organized effective counterattack. A determined Panthers claimed the set at 25-23.

Trailing at 14-15 in the third set, Shanghai's Fang Yingchao played as a rescuer. The 1.98-meter opposite player had two spikes and a block to help Shanghai grab the lead at 17-16.

Shanghai soon kept their rivals at bay 24-20 with a 4-1 run. After missing one set point, Shanghai clinched the set 25-21 with an unanswered spike from Li Chunhui.

With two set points in hand, Shanghai became more confident on the net and firm blocking from Fang and Wang Qingfei stemmed the Panthers' intention to bounce back. Shanghai then took the fourth set 25-23.

Tatsuya Fukuzawa of Panthers, who grabbed 30 points, was the top scorer of the match. He was followed by Kunihiro Shimizu, who had 24 points, including 20 spikes and three aces.

Fang led the Shanghai team with 22 points, while Wang Zhiteng contributed 14 and Cui Xiaodong 13.

"The Japanese team is a very strong team," said Wang Jian, head coach of Shanghai. "They are stronger than us, but we played a great game today."

"I have to say that we won the match because we were more determined than our opponents. Our players are fearless in front of strong rivals. It is an honor to be a coach of the team," he added.

In other matches played on Monday, Paykan of Iran held off Uzbekistan's Uzbektelecom 25-21, 25-13 and 25-16 to chalk up their second victory at the tournament.

Shaban Mojtaba had 13 kills in 25 attempts and added one ace to lead the Iranian team with 14 points.

Qatar's Al-Arabi outclassed Myanmar's AWC 25-23, 25-21, 25-18 and Vietnam's Sports Center 1 brushed aside BNI 46 of Indonesia 25-23, 25-20, 25-16.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:intern1)

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