Saturday, April 12, 2014

PH pins hopes on Iraq victory in Asian men’s club volley

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ PLDT Home TVolution Power Pinoys will be a keen observer when Iraq battles Mongolia Saturday in the 2014 Asian Men’s Volleyball Club Championship at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

With a 1-1 record, the Power Pinoys’ quarterfinal hopes will hinge on the 12 noon duel between the Iraqis, represented by South Gas Club, and Mongolia’s Altain Bars.

The Power Pinoys pulled off a straight-sets romp over the Mongolians on opening day before going down to the power-hitting Iraqi squad reinforced by two European imports.

But barring a monumental upset by Mongolia, the Power Pinoys will advance to the next round as the No. 2 team from Pool A.

Reaching the quarterfinals will be an achievement in itself for the Power Pinoys, and skipper Christian Fernandez stressed they should seize their opportunity to give the men’s game a massive boost.

“We’re not just playing to win in this tournament, but for the sport to get more recognition and boost its popularity in the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s Al-Rayyan routed Oman’s Sohar, 25-19, 25-23, 25-14, yesterday to become the fourth team to reach the quarterfinals.

With Italian import Cristian Savani and Cuban Cala Yosleyder making their presence felt anew, the Qataris rolled to their third straight win in Pool C to join Pool B qualifiers Iran (Matin Varamin) and Lebanon (Al-Zahra) and Pool D leader China (Baic Motors).

Turkmenistan hammered out a 25-21, 25-22, 26-28, 25-23 win over Hong Kong’s Green Dragon to stay in the hunt for a quarterfinal slot in Pool C.

Japan, bannered by Miyoshi Weisse Adler, pummeled Vietnam’s Duc Long Gia Lai, 25–22, 22–25, 26–24, 25–21 in a no-bearing game.

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