Chennai Spartans, the winners of introductory Pro Volleyball League, entered the semifinals of AVC Championship 2019 (Asian Volleyball Club Championship today.
The Chennai based Volleyball Franchise created history as they defeated Ho Chin Minh City in the Quarter Finals of the Asian Men’s Volleyball Club Championship.
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The Vietnamese champions were no match for the Spartans as they stumbled to a defeat in straight sets and surrendered the contest 25-21 25-18 25-21 at the University of Taipei (Tianmu) Gymnasium on Wednesday. For the Spartans, Naveen Raja Jacob gave a good account of himself with an impressive haul of 17 points in the encounter.
The Vietnamese club ran the Indians close in the first set and it was some fine attacking by the likes of Jerome Vinith and Ruslans Sorokins that helped the Spartans seize the advantage. The next set saw the likes of Rudy Verhoeff and Naveen Raja Jacob step up and the duo ensured the Spartans never gave away the advantage despite some fine spiking by Nguyen Van Hanh.
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This allowed Coach Kumara the chance to try out his reserves. Ho Chi Minh pushed the Spartans hard in the eventual set, but the late resurgence only delayed the inevitable as the Indian club notched up their consecutive second straight set victory.
The Spartans coach, M.H Kumara expressed his satisfaction with the performance. “It was our best result so far in this tournament as we are now among the top four teams along with powerhouses like Japan, Iran and possible Qatar.”
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“We played badly only in the first match and then we picked it up to win the remaining matches. We have reached the semi-finals for the first time in India’s history.”
“My players came here on April 13 and had a short period of time to train together as a full team here, just two days ahead of the competition. I think my players played well in this match in terms of the quality and strategic plan.”
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The Indian club will now meet the winners of the Taichung Bank Vs Shahrdari Varamin encounter in the semi final on Thursday. The semi final scheduled to begin at 4 PM IST,