KATHMANDU, April 23: Nepal national volleyball team has kept its semifinal hopes alive after defeating Maldives 3-0 in the ongoing Bangabandhu AVC Central Zone Senior Asian Men’s Championship on Sunday.
Despite getting a strong challenge from Maldives in the first set, Nepal won 25-21 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.
Nepal won its other sets with relative ease and kept its last four hopes alive.
Nepal won the second set 25-18 and claimed the third set 25-15 to win the match 3-0.
Nepal had lost its inaugural match 3-1 against the host Bangladesh and was under pressure to beat Maldives.
“I felt the boys had difficulty in playing yesterday as it was our first game, but they played very openly today,” Nepali captain Em Rana Magar said.
“Our receive and block were very good today. Maldives isn’t a poor team, but we saw some problems in their receive.”
Nepal’s head coach Jagadish Bhatta said that they managed to get the result after presenting an improved performance.
He added that his team was successful in catching the rhythm against Maldives after failing to play openly in the first match.
“Had we played with today’s performance, we would have defeated Bangladesh on straight sets,” Bhatta said, “Our receive, block and service were very good today.”
Bangladesh will face Maldives in the last group stage match on Monday. As the top two teams of the group will reach the semifinals, so if Bangladesh manages to beat Maldives, Nepal will enter the last four as group runner-up.
In group B, Turkmenistan beat Kyrgyzstan 3-0 in the first match.
In a highly anticipated match, Turkmenistan won the first set 25-23, the second 35-33 and the third 28-26.
Turkmenistan will face Uzbekistan in its second group stage match on Monday.