OMAN’s Sohar and Vietnam’s Duc Long Gai Lai, already eliminated from quarterfinal contention, scored wins on Sunday to improve their chances of a decent placing in the 2014 Asian Men's Volleyball Club Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Sohar recovered from a horrendous start to defeat Japan's Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler, 17-25, 23-25, 25-22, 28-26, 15-7, to move to the winners’ side of the classification rounds.
Duc Long Gai Lai downed Mongolia Altain Bars, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20, 25-23.
The two teams return to action on Monday at the Astrodome the determine the placings in the second round of the classification. With the winners playing again to determine which squad will place 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th.
Younis Alaamri came up with 23 points from 18 spikes, four blocks and one service ace for Oman.
Khalid Almaqbali added 17, and team captain Khalid Alsaheli, Ahmed Hassan Alshezawi and Mohammed Alnaqabi chipped in 11, 11 and 10 markers respectively.
“Japan is one of the best volleyball teams in the continent,” said Oman coach Rashed Almaqbali. “We focused on our service and we noticed Japan's attack was soft.”
Down 19-22, Oman used a 7-4 spurt to tie the game 26-all.
Sohar earned the last two points from Mohamed Khattab after a crucial call by the referee following a block on his spike and his outside hit the following rally.
“They (Japan) depend on Khattab that's why we focused our defense on Khattab," said Almaqbali.
Khattab, Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler’s Egyptian import, finished with 24 points from 20 hits, three blocks and one service ace.
Yuki Hosokawa added 17, while Daisuke Omichi chipped in 10 for the Japan side.
Meanwhile, Skipper Huu Ha Nguyen came up with 20 points for Duc Long Gai Lai, while Van Hann Nguyen and Xuan Thao Cao contributed 14 and 12, respectively.
Saikhanbaatar Erdenebat provided 27 markers for Mongolia and Tuvshintuguldur Adiyasuren made 16.
The Japan and Mongolia teams also play in the losers’ side for their own classification.