MANILA, Philippines – The Power Pinoys can now breathe a sigh of relief after Al Gas Janoob of Iraq dispatched Altain Bars-Mongolia, 25-12, 25-17, 23-25, 25-15 in the PLDT Home Fibr Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship on Saturday, April 12 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The taller Iraqis used their height to overpower the Mongolians, scoring on quick hits, service aces, and powerful kills in the first two sets.
But Mongolia got back in the third set as Iraq’s floor defense turned ugly. Down 21-23, the East-Asian squad took the last four points to record their first set won in the tournament.
However, Al Gas-Janoob showed who the better team was as they got back on track in the fourth frame, firing emphatic hits to complete the rout.
Iraq’s preliminary round win over Mongolia pushed them to the top of the three-team Pool A with a 2-0 slate and also allowed the Philippines (1-1) to qualify to the next round without any complication.
The Power Pinoys split their elimination games, sweeping Mongolia on Tuesday, April 8 but losing against a taller Iraq side on Thursday, April 10.
Only the top two teams per pool shall make it to the quarterfinals; Iraq and the Philippines are already through in Pool A. Leading in Pool B as of posting time are Iran and Lebanon. Qatar and Kazakhstan are ranked 1 and 2 respectively in Pool C while China and Chinese Taipei are the frontrunners in Pool B.
Quarterfinals action starts on Monday, April 14 at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com
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