DOHA: Qatar’s Al Arabi Sports Club stormed into the semifinals of the SMM 2017 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship with a 25-19, 25-22, 25-16 thrashing of Taichung Commercial Bank from Chinese Taipei at the Ninh Binh Gymnasium, Vietnam, on Tuesday.
With their key players Grozer Gyorgy and Mohammed Ibrahim in unstoppable form, Arabi proved too hot to handle for the Chinese Taipei side, who were never really in the contest.
Arabi will take on Sarmayeh Bank of Iran in the semifinal after the defending champions powered to a 25-12, 25-13, 23-25, 25-16 victory against Al-Bahri Sport Club of Iraq in the quarterfinal.
Shahram Mahmoudi was the Sarmayeh Bank’s top scorer with 16 points, while Farhad Ghaemi added 13 points.
Sarmayeh Bank, so far undefeated in the tournament, are sure to provide a stiff challenge for last year’s runners-up Arabi.
“We have not yet played against the Qatari team (this edition), said Sarmayeh Bank’s head coach Mostafa Karkhaneh. “We will have to analyse their game plan and prepare ourselves well for the next match. We will try our best to win the match.”
But Arabi would take heart from the fact that they have been in stupendous form in the last three matches, including in their straight set victory against Al Bahri in the second match in Pool C in the last eight.
Kazakhstan’s Altay VC also advanced to the semifinals with a 25-19, 25-22, 25-14 victory against China’s Beijing Baic Motor. They will take on the winners of the match between Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza (Japan) and hosts Vietnam Sports Club for a place in the final.