Manama, Bahrain, May 21, 2023 – Suntory Sunbirds made history on Sunday to become the Japan’s first team ever to win the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship after hard-fought 3-1 demolition of Jakarta Bhayangkara Presisi in thrilling final showdown at Isa Bin Rashid Hall.
The dramatic 28-26, 25-23, 23-25, 25-17 win not only handed Suntory Sunbirds their unprecedented title with remarkable unbeaten record in the eight-day championship, but also secured them a place in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship, due to be held in December in India.
Jakarta Bhayangkara Presisi entered the final round with two losses to hosts Al-Ahli and Suntory Sunbirds in the pool play, while Suntory Sunbirds became the only unbeaten team with seven wins overall.
The final match turned into a tight contest with both sides pouring everything they had to win. The game was see-saw as leads changed hands several times. In the first two sets, Suntory Sunbirds fared better, refraining from making hasty unforced mistakes, to capture the set 28-26, and 25-23.
Going down two straight sets, the Indonesians made a strong comeback in the third set. Their resilience was showcased through spectacular blocking from Mohammad Javad Manavinezhad and Daudi Okello and some powerful spikes by Rendy Tamamilang, who continued to dominate with the Japanese unable to muster any sort of response in the final stretch. Jakarta Bhayangkara Presisi made a few unforced attacking mistakes but still went through to win the close set 25-23.
In the fourth set, the Iranian Mohammad Javad Manavinezhad continued to marshal the defence, but their communications began to break down. After taking a commanding lead with a five-point clear at 21-16, Suntory Sunbirds marched on their remarkable run to finally capture the set 25-17, match and the Japan’s historic title.
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