Japan join Iran and Pakistan in quarterfinals at Asian Men's U23 Championship


Japan claimed a five-set victory against Thailand

Ardabil, Iran, May 2, 2017 – China, Chinese Taipei and Thailand entered the fray on day two of the SMM 2nd Asian Men’s U23 Volleyball Championship in Iran, but only the first two tasted victories. The eleven teams competing in the event are also playing for two berths at the 2017 edition of the FIVB Volleyball Men's U23 World Championship in Egypt from August 18 to 25.

Japan advance to quarterfinals
After defeating Sri Lanka in straight sets, Japan advanced to the quarterfinals as the Pool D winners following their 3-2 (30-28, 20-25, 25-19, 22-25, 15-8) win over Thailand.

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Japan head coach Fumitoshi Tokunaga included his tallest players, including Issei Otake who played a major role in counter-attacking. After going down in the first set, Thailand came back stronger in the second set with better tactics to take the set 25-20. The third set included five substitutions and three time-outs and was won 25-19 by Japan. Thailand did not give up easily and instead troubled the Japanese at the final assault in the fourth set to claim it 25-22 for a 2-2 draw. In the decider, Japan overwhelmed Thailand 15-8 to complete their first round campaign atop Pool D and advance to the quarterfinals. Thailand are to face Sri Lanka on Wednesday in their final preliminary round match.
Chinese Taipei survive Uzbekistan scare in tie-breaker
Chinese Taipei narrowly beat Uzbekistan 3-2 (25-17, 22-25, 25-10, 28-30, 15-8). With two losses in a row, Uzbekistan failed to make the cut for the quarterfinals. Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei, both with one win, are sure of advance to the quarterfinals. They will battle it out on Wednesday to determine the Pool B winners.

China brush off Malaysia in straight sets

China powered past Malaysia in straight sets 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-19) in their opening match. Malaysia entered the court with heads high as the surprise winners over Australia, but against China things turned sour for the Malaysians.

Gu Jiafeng was instrumental in China’s win over Malaysia, including his six stuff blocks. Siong Tay, the head coach of Malaysia said “We did not perform well in our first balls and we need to work more. Chinese players are taller and could block better. I think, they can beat Australia as well.”
Guo Lei led China with 14 points and Jian Qin scored a match-high 20 points for Malaysia.

Tuesday’s Results
Japan b Thailand 3-2 (30-28, 20-25, 25-19, 22-25, 15-8)
Chinese Taipei b Uzbekistan 3-2 (25-17, 22-25, 25-10, 28-30, 15-8)
China b Malaysia 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-19)

Match Schedule (May 3, 2017)
Sri Lanka v Thailand
Kazakhstan v Chinese taipei
China v Australia


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