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    Iran club asserts mastery of Qatar side to retain Asian men's club volley crown

    Apr 16, 2014

    MATIN Varamin of Iran recovered from a sluggish start, turning back Qatar’s Al-Rayyan, 19-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-16, on Wednesday at MOA Arena to complete a back-to-back title romp in the Asian Men's Volleyball Club Championship.

    Iran bagged its 10th overall title and earned the right to represent Asia in the 2014 Federation International de Volleyball World Cup Championship in Betim, Brazil next month.

    It was also the second straight Asian title Iran has won on Philippine soil, having also ruled the last Fiba-Asia men's basketball championship last year at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    Down, 18-23, Iran came up with an 8-1 rally, including three consecutive blocks on Al-Rayyan’s Italian reinforcement Cristian Savani, to end the third set.

    So frustrated was Savani during Matin Varamin’s run that the Olympian tugged the net near the first referee and was issued a yellow card for misconduct.

    It was all Iran in the fourth set, putting up a 10-4 advantage that was enough to hold off Qatar’s mini rallies.

    Al-Rayyan made a with a 5-2 run to make it, 16-22, but Shahram Mahmoudi Kh. and Seyed Mohammad Mousavi E. came up with back-to-back blocks on Savani and Cala Gerardo to finish the match.

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    Savani finished with 19 points, while Cala Gerardo contributed 17 and Saeed Ibrahim Mohamed added 13 for the Qatar club, which finished second for the second straight year.
     
    "I know a lot of things that my opponent does, but that was not enough," said Daniele Bagnoli, who had known his fellow Italian Cristian from way back.
     
    "There was a small help from the technical (game) that we coudn't get, like Cala. We were serving very bad and that was difficult. For Savani, there is emotion that is difficult to control."
     
    Rounding up the individual awardees are Mazim Saramin of Kazakhstan (first outside spiker) and Kazakh Vorivodin Vitaliy (opposite spiker), Said Sulaiman of Qatar (best libero), Li Runming of China (best setter), Seyed (first middle blocker),  Sharifat (second middle blocker) and Shahram was hailed as the MVP.
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