Players of Nepal and Kyrgyzstan in action during the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Central Zone Men’s Volleyball tournament at the Nepal Army Sports and Physical Training Center in Lalitpur on Monday. Photo Courtesy: NSC
LALITPUR, Aug 20: Nepal suffered defeat in straight sets against Kyrgyzstan in its first match of the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Central Zone Men’s Volleyball tournament held at Nepal Army Sports and Physical Training Center in Lalitpur on Monday.
The host team Nepal conceded three straight sets of 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 against Kyrgyzstan during the Group A match which also includes Maldives. Nepal was found wanting in receive and block against Kyrgyzstan’s spike which kept ricocheting for easy points. Nepal started well in the first set but lost momentum after conceding the lead to the opponent.
Nepal, despite continuing its good form from 2-0 friendly series win against Afghanistan prior to the tournament, struggled to close the sets in the first match losing crucial points. Nepal accumulated 67 points against Kyrgyz’s 75 losing all the three sets. Kyrgyzstan’s head coach Sarbaghyshev Kylychbek was still not convinced with his team’s performance despite the win.
“Coaches don’t want to rest on their laurels despite the win. We need to keep finding ways to improve our game. Our team did not perform to its full potential. But we are happy to take the win,” he said.
“Fortune might favor other team in any other day. We need to regroup, give continuity to the good form and focus entirely on the next round,” he added.
He also praised Nepal for hosting a tournament of such scale and expected Nepal volleyball team to do well under the European head coach.
Nepal coach Hann Abing expressed his dissatisfaction with the performance against a strong opposition.
“It was good learning experience against a far superior team. I am not satisfied with our performance. However, we can’t compare them (Kyrgyzstan) to Afghanistan.”
“They were superior in spike, block and receive than us. Their outside hitter performed tremendously whom we were not able to stop.”
He emphasized the need of regrouping and staying mentally and emotionally strong for the next match.
The visiting team added two points on the board strengthening its chances to reach next round. In case the Maldives loses to Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday, Nepal will have to defeat the Maldives on Wednesday to entertain any chances of qualification in the semifinal. Furthermore, the result will be based on total accumulated points or sets won if the Maldives win any of the remaining two matches.
In the Group B match, earlier in the day, Turkmenistan overcame Afghanistan 3-1 to register the former’s first win played at the same venue.
Likewise, Bangladesh was beaten 25-16, 25-16, 25-23 by Uzbekistan in the second match of the Group B in the same venue. Seven nations are divided into two groups of three (Group A) and four (Group B) teams.