MANILA, Philippines – The Chinese men’s national volleyball team has been awarded a 3-0 victory at the ongoing Volleyball Nations League (VNL) tournament Manila leg on Thursday, June 23, after the German national team refused to play at the Araneta Coliseum.
The league said in a statement that this development occurred even after the Chinese athletes were “cleared by local authorities” from COVID-19. China recently lost by default to France last Wednesday, June 22, after a confirmed team virus outbreak.
VNL also apologized to paying fans at the Big Dome and promised that the 7 pm match between Argentina and Slovenia will push through. However, no refund measures were mentioned.
Prior to this new issue, the Germans also begged off from their scheduled exhibition match with the Philippine men’s national team on June 27, owing to fatigue from successive VNL matches.
This effectively ended the country’s hopes of seeing its best spikers compete with top international stars, as the Filipinos’ first friendly match last June 16 was also called off due to Japan’s separate COVID-19 outbreak, which put at least six athletes out of commission.
Over at the women’s division, Thailand also experienced an outbreak roughly the same time as Japan, but reinforcements were quickly flew in to Manila, and their run continued from there.
With the 25-0, 25-0, 25-0 default sweep, China rose to 2-4 in the men’s standings at 10th place, while seventh-ranked Germany slid to a 3-3 slate.
Germany is now on a two-game losing streak after dropping to Italy in a 16-25, 21-25, 22-25 sweep last Wednesday. It can return on a winning note with a victory on June 24, 11 am against the Netherlands, still at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Chinese, meanwhile, earned a hard-fought 25-23, 31-29, 25-23 sweep against home team Brazil in Brasilia last June 12 – the last time they suited up for real play time. They can again attempt an on-court return on Friday, 3 pm against Argentina, also at Araneta. – Rappler.com