2nd place in the group and go to the quarterfinals → Meet the world’s best MB Mushalski… “Coming head-to-head with Suntory, it will be a good opportunity for the team”
Korean Air, who is participating in the 2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship as Korea’s representative, lost in the last game of the group stage and advanced to the quarterfinals in second place in the group.
Korean Air won 1-3 (28-30, 17-25, 25-22, 21-21-28-30, 17-25, 25-22, 21-) in the Group A match against Indonesia’s Jakarta Bayangkara in the Group A match held at Issa Sports City in Manama, Bahrain on the 16th (local time). 25) was defeated.
Korean Air, who finished the group stage with a loss on the day with a score of 6 (2 wins, 1 loss), advanced to the quarterfinals by finishing second in Group A, following Jakarta with a score of 7 (2 wins, 1 loss).
Photo = Courtesy of KOVO
Korean Air, which secured the right to advance to the quarterfinals by beating Bahrain’s Al Ahli 3-0 the previous day, which was considered the biggest opponent in Group A, started this day with the same lineup as the previous day. If you reach the quarterfinals, you will play a full league with one team in Group A and the 1st and 2nd place in Group C. In this tournament, a match against a team from the same group does not play in the quarterfinals, but instead the results of the group stage. In order to gain an advantage in the quarterfinals, setter Kwang-Woo Yoo and apologetic spiker Dong-Hyeok Lim, who played full-time in the previous two games, were dispatched this day as well.
However, compared to Al Ahli, who signed short-term contracts with key strikers such as Yosbani Hernandez (Cuba) and Gabriel Candido (Brazil) for this tournament, Jakarta’s power was upgraded by adding Indonesian national team player Farhan as a short-term contract. Organization was much smoother. Korean Air, who gave up the first set after a close match of deuce, was dragged down with a score of 0-2 in the second set as the Jakarta attacking team showed off an even better performance.
He worked hard in the third set. On this day, the match was held at 4:30 pm local time, and compared to the match the day before, which started at 7 pm, the cheering of Korean residents was somewhat less. However, Korean Air’s performance improved as the Bahrain home crowd, which had to beat Jakarta to help Al-Ahli advance to the quarterfinals, joined forces with Korean residents in a cheering match.
A tight 21-21 match continued until the end of the third set. At the moment of desperation, when even the third set could be lost, ace Jeong Ji-seok lived up to his name. He took the lead with a serve that neutralized Jakarta receivers, and although the subsequent serve did not lead to an ace, he shook the opponent’s receive, and Lee Joon widened the lead to two points with a quick open. Lee Joon succeeded in a decisive attack at 24-22, leading the match to the 4th set.
However, Jakarta’s안전놀이터 potential was terrifying. In the 4th set, Farhan’s offensive power blew up, finishing the set 25-21, preventing Al-Ahli from advancing to the quarterfinals and securing first place in Group A.
Photo = Courtesy of KOVO
Korean Air coach Tommy Tilikhanen, who met with reporters after the game, said, “I want to say congratulations to the opponent first.” Our players also worked hard. It was a good confrontation,” he said.
He continued, “I gave up the first set. “That’s what sports are originally,” he said. “We were lacking in the 2nd set, and in the 3rd set, the bench players also entered and fought well. We lost the 4th set and gave up the game, but I am satisfied with the fact that we did not give up easily even when our performance was shaky.”
Head coach Tillikainen has stated that the goal of this tournament is to make it a place of experience for young players to grow. When asked to what extent that goal was achieved through the three group stage games, “The goal of this tournament was melted into the three group stage games. I am satisfied that our players have achieved a good record of 2 wins and 1 loss in the new environment and face-to-face confrontation with new players.” He said, “We need more improvement in the aggressive part.”
Korean Air, who finished the group stage in second place in Group A, will face off against Suntory Sunbirds on the 18th, who finished first in Group C and advanced to the quarterfinals. Suntory, led by Dmitri Mushalski (Russia), who is considered the world’s best middle blocker, finished Group C’s group stage with three wins.
Coach Tillikainen said, “Now we will analyze Suntory’s strength. It’s a team I’ve played against a lot in the past, but there are players who are still protecting the team and there are new players, so analysis is needed.” do,” he explained.