Men’s professional volleyball Korean Air advanced to the quarterfinals as second in the group after being knocked out by Indonesia’s Jakarta Bayangkara in the last match of the group stage of the 2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championships.
On the 16th (local time), Korean Air defeated Indonesian league runner-up team Jakarta Bayankara Freshie 1-3 (28-30 17-25) in Group A 3 of the group stage held at ISA Sports City Stadium in Manama, Bahrain 25-22 21-25).
Korean Air, who finished the first and second games with a 3-0 victory, experienced their first defeat in the tournament on this day. As a result, Korean Air gave Jakarta (7 points) the top spot in the group with 2 wins, 1 loss and 6 points.
Korean Air, who advanced to the quarterfinals after finishing second in their group, will play their first match in Group E of the quarterfinals against Japan’s Suntory Sunbirds on the 18th. Korean Air, which had one loss and reached the group stage of the quarterfinals due to the defeat that day, was under the pressure of having to win against Santory.
At the beginning of the first set, Korean Air was taken aback by Jakarta’s organizational skills. Jakarta showed off Korean Air’s attacks one after another, and showed performance one step higher than Bahrain’s Al Ahli, which was initially considered to be Korean Air’s strongest opponent in Group A. Led by coach Jiang Jie, who served as the head coach of the Chinese national team, Jakarta’s serve, fast attack, and blocking were excellent.
The seesaw game continued until the end of the set. Head coach Tommy Tillikainen took out Kim Min-jae as a middle blocker and put in Cho Jae-young for the first time in this tournament and threw the game. In the 28-28 deuce, Jung Ji-seok’s serve was caught in the net. Jakarta’s Iranian outside hitter Manabinejad’s open attack succeeded and he gave up the first set.
Korean Air, which lost a set for the first time in this tournament, was dragged away by allowing points to Jakarta ace Farhan Halim again and again in the second set. Parhan, who won the Indonesian league serve king for the last two seasons in a row, threatened Korean Air with a strong serve and an open attack with high RBI. Daudi Okello, who played for Hyundai Capital and KEPCO in the Korean V-League and moved to the Indonesia League, also scored. Korean Air, which was behind by 7 points, made mistakes in receiving and serving, and even gave up the second set with a score of 18-25.
In the third set, Korean Air seemed to be leading, but Lim Dong-hyuk’s attacks failed one after another, allowing a tie. As Korean Air faced the crisis of defeat, the cheers of Koreans in Bahrain grew louder. Bahraini spectators, who could only expect Bahraini team Al-Ahli to advance to the quarterfinals if Korean Air wins, heard the news that Korean Air was losing, and flocked to the stadium to cheer them on.
Encouraged by the support,스포츠토토 Jeong Ji-seok scored a decisive serve in 21-21, and Lee Joon’s quick open hit Jakarta’s receive with a subsequent serve and took the win. On 24-22, Lee Joon’s quick open attack succeeded once again, and Korean Air took the 3rd set.
The 4th set also unfolded amid unilateral support from Bahraini and Koreans. Bahraini spectators interfered with musical instruments and sound devices every time Jakarta served. Although the momentum of the Indonesian crowd was waning, Korean Air was drawn in the game.
Was it the aftermath of the three-game series? The movements of the Korean Air players were different from the previous two games. On the other hand, Jakarta’s ace Farhan widened the score gap with his serve and back attack. With a 17-14 lead, Farhan played the role of a solver by blocking Son Hyeon-jong’s attack. Korean Air, overwhelmed by Farhan’s performance, eventually lost 21-25.
Prior to this match, Suntory Sunbirds (Japan), led by Dmitri Mushalsky (Russia), defeated Kaipil Sports Club (Yemen) 3-0 and advanced to the quarterfinals as No. 1 in Group C. Suntory will meet Korean Air in Group E of the quarterfinals.
Shahdab Yazd (Iran), to which Saeed Marouf, one of Asia’s best setters belongs, defeated Taichung Bank (Taiwan) 3-0 and advanced to the quarterfinals, Group F, as No. 1 in Group B. Taichung Bank, which was defeated, was eliminated in the quarterfinals as third place in Group B was confirmed. The Taichung Bank command tower is Serbian coach Branislav Moro, who commanded the North Korean 4/25 volleyball team from 2014 to 2016.
Bayan Kongor (Mongolia), played by Bayarsaihan (Mongolia), which is about to join OK Financial Group as an Asian quarter, defeated Diamond Food Pine Ceph Air Force (Thailand) 3-0 and advanced to the quarterfinals by finishing second in Group C. Bayang Kongor will also face off against Korean Air in Group E of the quarterfinals.