Tehran, Iran, August 7, 2015 – Defending successive two-time champions Iran stunned China in a breathtaking semi-final clash 21-25, 20-25, 25-9, 25-19, 16-14 to storm their ways to the final showdown of the 18th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship for consecutive four times.
As Iran will go up against Japan in the final clash at the 12,000-seater Azadi Sport Complex Hall 1, the two losers China and Qatar will battle it out in the third-place playoff.
Coach of Iran, Peyman Akbari: “I was so impressed by the good show of China.They showed a spectacular volleyball. Everybody considers China to be one of the strong teams to be in the final match regarding their good performance from the beginning of the tournament. They did a very big job in the first and second sets and took control of the game and didn’t let us even think about what we were going to do. But from the third set, we had nothing to lose. My team played with good mentality. I appreciate our fans who didn’t leave us alone though we lost the first two sets and supported us to the last moment. I also congratulate my team on this victory.”
About the final match with Japan and their Iranian assistant coach: “There is an Iranian coach in Japan team who was the former assistant of Velasco in our team before. Yes, he knows our players very well, but this is not enough for winning. The players will do the job in the court. As coaches, we plan what to do in a match but they are the players who perform the plans and do the real job. I think both Japan and Iran are capable of winning the championship.”
Captain of Iran, Hamzeh Zarrini: “I wish this game would be done in the final. I had predicted this match before. China did a great job. I have told my team-mates that Chinese team is penetrable, if we take control of the game, we can win the match and it happened. They played well in the first set as we made too many unforced errors. It was a beautiful game. This is very difficult to lose two sets and then come back to life and win the match. I really wish this was the final match as it was so spectacular. I’m happy and Thank God.”
Head coach of China, Guochen Xie: “Congratulations to Iran for winning the game and going to the final match. We had two good sets but our players are so young and some of them are experiencing their first international tournament. They lost their concentration. The Iranian fans really helped the team and did a big job. I hope our fans learn from the Iranians and do the same and support their team.”