DAY 6 WRAP-UP
Manama, Bahrain, May 20, 2023 – Japan’s Suntory Sunbirds continued to soar while Indonesia’s Jakarta Bhayangkara Presisi pulled off a stunner as the pair of continental juggernauts set up a titanic clash for gold medal in the 2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship.
The Suntory Sunbirds, the only team unbeaten in this topflight championship, punched their ticket to the title-decider after a hard-earned victory in four sets against Shahdab Yazd of Iran on Saturday at Isa Bin Rashid Halls.
Jakarta Bhayangkara Presisi followed suit, outclassing the previously undefeated Police Sports Team of Qatar, also in a four-set thriller.
Both the Suntory Sunbirds and Jakarta Bhayangkara Presisi are now looking to be the first team from their respective countries to clinch the tournament crown. They will also be battling for the lone berth from this event in the 2023 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship, due to be hosted by India in December.
The highly-anticipated final of the 16-nation tournament is scheduled for 7:00pm Sunday night. It will be an epic climax to the hugely exciting week-long competition.
Losing semi-finalists Shahdab Yazd and Police Sports Team will face off for the bronze medal at 4.30pm. Also on the day’s schedule are the concluding classification games, which get underway from 10:00am onwards. All are welcome to attend. Entrance is free of charge. The day’s play will be followed by the official awards presentation and closing ceremony.
Suntory Sunbirds and Shahdab Yazd split the first two sets in their semi-finals but then the Japanese rallied to take the third in thrilling fashion. They rode their momentum into the fourth set, when Russian superstar Dmitriy Muserskiy carried them to the finish line for the 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 34-32, 25-17) victory.
It was a similar feat repeated by the Japanese outfits. At the previous edition in Iran last year, Suntory Sunbirds also brushed off Shahdab Yazd 3-1 in the semifinals.
Muserskiy was unstoppable with 29 points, while Cuban teammate Alain Junior de Armas added 24. Mohammad Valizadeh scored 20 to pace Shahdab in defeat, while Amir Ghafour had 19.
Suntory Sunbirds libero Soshi Fujinaka said after the win: “Today, everyone expected the match to be very tough, but each player did what they were supposed to during the game, and it was not a victory from just one of us, but it was a victory for the full team.
“After winning the third set, that mostly…
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