Hosts Bangladesh put up another bold performance in the Bangabandhu Asian Men's Senior Central Zone Volleyball Championship to book their semifinal berth with a 3-0 sets win in their last Group A match at the Shaheed Suhrawardi Indoor Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
With successive wins, the men in red and green emerged group champions to set tomorrow's semifinal against the winners of today's match between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan will play the second semifinal against Nepal.
Fresh from a convincing 3-1 sets win over Nepal, Bangladesh took to the court in an electrifying atmosphere as school students and other spectators turned up in numbers to cheer on the hosts. The spectators motivated the Bangladesh players, who turned a 20-21 deficit into a 25-22 victory in the third and deciding set.
Horosit Biswas and Co. did not disappoint the full-house crowd with their scintillating performance, making some timely blocks, powerful smashes and accurate serves.
Maldives simply could not produce any resistance as Bangladesh took the first two sets by 25-22 points. The hosts, who had said they would adopt a defensive strategy, executed their blocks pretty well with Masud Hossain and Rashed Khan Emon while Horosit and Mohsin Uddin were perfect on the smash. The Islanders though, were guilty of being directionless as they lost a number of points by sending the ball outside the court.
Maldives, however, came back strong in the third set and at one stage were leading by 21-20 points before Masud and Rashed made two good blocks while Horosit smashed brilliantly to ensure a 25-22 win.
“We were confident about winning the game in 3-0 sets even though we faced a little problem in the third set due to our poor receiving. However, we rectified our mistakes to emerge group champions,” said Masud.
“Our target was to make good blocks because Maldives have two or three quick attackers like Huzmat Ali and Naseem Adam and we successfully blocked them according to the instructions from our coach. So we did not face much trouble from them in the first two sets but things were different in the third set because Horosit, Atique and myself could not receive the ball smoothly and that led to Maldives earning points from us,” said the 28-year-old from Bangladesh Army.
“All the three teams of Group B are comparatively stronger than the Group A teams. They are physically ahead of us but we will play a tactical and technical match in the semifinal and hope we will reach the final,” said Rashed, who was disappointed at not being awarded as the best blocker of the match.
Horosit and Mohsin were adjudged the best spiker and most valuable player of the match respectively.