Manama, Bahrain, May 21, 2023 – Japan’s Suntory Sunbirds were Sunday night crowned champions of the 2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship, which came to a spectacular close in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Suntory Sunbirds secured their maiden continental crown, and the first-ever title for any Japanese team in the tournament, with a resounding 3-1 (28-26, 25-23, 23-25, 25-17) victory against Jakarta Bhayangkara Presisi of Indonesia in a hugely exciting final, played in front of a large crowd at Isa Bin Rashid Hall.
Police Sports Team from Qatar claimed the bronze medal after defeating Shahdab Yazd of Iran in the game for third place.
Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC) Board Member and Bahrain Table Tennis Association President Shaikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa and Bahrain Volleyball Association (BVA) President Shaikh Ali bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, along with the tournament’s Control Committee Chairman Mr Emile Jabbour, and officials from Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC), BVA and other regional volleyball leagues, were attending the championship-decider.
They later presented the awards in a closing ceremony to the medallists, along with special trophies for the best individual performers.
Suntory Sunbirds superstar Dmitriy Muserskiy was named the competition’s Most Valuable Player. Fahreza Rakha Abhinaya of Bhayangkara was the Best Libero, while Makasi Oya, also from the Sunbirds, was the Best Setter.
Police’s Belal Nabel Abunabot and Bhayangkara’s Hendra Kurniawan were the Best Middle Blockers, while Amir Ghafour of Shahdab was the Best Opposite Spiker. Cuban Alain Junior de Armas of the Sunbirds and Mohammadjavad Manavinezhad of Bhayangkara rounded out the top players as the Best Outside Hitters.
In the gold medal match, Muserskiy was a force to be reckoned with, finishing with a game-high 31 points while making some crucial plays that helped decide each set. De Armas added 26 for the Japanese, while Manavinezhad scored 22 to pace the Indonesians, with Ugandan Daudi Okello scoring 21.
The result earned the Suntory Sunbirds their first Asian Men’s Club title, and in doing so claimed the lone place from the event to the 2023 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship, due to be held later this year in India.
Suntory Sunbirds had finished as the silver-medallists twice in the past, including in last year’s edition and earlier in 2001. Furthermore, Suntory Sunbirds became the first Japanese club to win…
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