2017 Asian Men’s Senior Championships
Korea def. China 3-0 (25-18 25-19 25-23)
Indonesia def. Iran 3-2 (18-25 18-25 25-23 26-24 15-11)
Japan def. Australia 3-0 (25-21 25-16 25-22)
Kazakhstan def. Chinese Taipei 3-0 (25-22 25-22 25-23)
Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Japan and Korea advanced to the semifinals of the Asian Championships with victories on Sunday. Korea, Japan and Kazakhstan won via sweep, while Indonesia rallied for a five-set win over Iran.
Top four newcomers Indonesia will face eight-time Asian champions Japan, while Kazakhstan will take on Korea in Monday’s semifinals.
Korea 3, China 0
Korea remained undefeated in the tournament with a 3-0 win over 2015 bronze medalists China.
The final set was knotted at 23-all, before Korea came through to sew up the sweep.
Park Joohyeong led the way with 14 points, including 11 kills and three aces, while Jung Jieseok downed eight kills and added three aces and a block.
Jiang Chuan scored a match-high 16 points for China, including 14 kills, but it was not enough.
“I think we played a tough match against China,” Korean coach Kim Hochul said. “However, it is obvious that China had a little problem in their reception and we then attacked them easily. However, I have never thought the match would end in three sets. It should have been a much tougher match.”
Indonesia 3, Iran 2
Down 2-0, Indonesia rallied for a five-set win over Iran to secure a spot in the Asian Championship semifinals for the first time since 1975.
The teams battled for more than two hours in front a crowd of 2,000 predominately Indonesian supporters who were thrilled by the home side’s victory.
“I would like to thank all of the Indonesian fans who boosted the team’s morale despite going down the first two sets,” Indonesia coach Samsul Jais said. “The cheering home fans proved a great asset to our historic success today. I asked my players not to give up easily and instead play confidently without making any hasty unforced mistakes. Imagine, Iran have modern technology with well-qualified staff coaches ad officials, while we have nothing. Still, we proved ourselves by beating the much stronger side. We will try our best to make another history by attempting to beat Japan in Monday’s semifinal clash.”
Iran, which sent its under 23 team to the event instead of its senior team, drops into the fifth through eighth place matches.
Japan 3, Australia 0
The defending champions from Japan made quick work of familiar foe Australia, whom they defeating in five sets to win the AVC Qualifier earlier this summer.
The Aussies tried to contend with the Japanese attack, but could not break through.
Masahiro Yanagida was the top scorer in the match with 16 points, including 11 kills and four aces for Japan. Yuki Ishikawa followed with 12 kills and a block.
“I think Australia played without their libero and therefore, they had difficulties in passing,” Japanese coach Yuichi Nakagaichi said. “We improved on our sideouts and it mad eour game run smoothly. Except the end of the game, I think everything worked well. As we already reached the semifinals, no matter which team, Iran or Indonesia, we are ready to fight it out. We just try to focus on our hope for a successful title defense.”
Kazakhstan 3, Chinese Taipei 0
Kazakhstan made history by advancing to the final four of the Asian Championships for the first time since 1993 with a sweep of Chinese Taipei.
The taller Kazakh team used a strong blocking effort en route to the sweep, which ended on a controversial kill by Vitaliy Edhshtein. The ball appeared to sail wide, but the referee gave the point to the victors after calling a touch on Chinese Taipei. Edhshtein and Vitaliy Varivodin scored 14 points apiece, with 12 and 14 kills respectively to pace Kazakhstan.
The Kazakhs won silver in 1993.