Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Petrokimia Endures Difficult Opener

Volleyball team Petrokimia Gresik Indonesia suffered through a difficult opening match in front of its home supporters at the Asian Women’s Club Championship.

Petrokimia, largely made up of national volleyball team players, lost 25-22, 25-20, 25-12 to Zobahan of Iran at Gresik Sports Hall on Saturday. The Iranians dominated the Group A match from start to finish.

“If the players had just kept their cool, I think we wouldn’t have suffered an easy loss like that,” Petrokimia coach Viktor Laiyan said. “They clearly looked nervous, so they didn’t play according to my game plan.”

While the Petrokimia players were nervous, Zobahan was clearly a cut above them.

Led by imports Tatiana Alvez Dos Santos of Brazil and Viktoria Brice of Latvia, Zobahan took the attacking initiative from the start. Dos Santos scored 13 points from her hard spikes which left the Indonesian side scrambling.

Petrokimia, meanwhile, played in monotonous fashion. Its attacks were easily read and its blocks failed to cope with the opponent’s attack.

“It was because our squad is still young . They easily lost their grip on the match because they lack experience,” Viktor said. “Zobahan’s imports are also very good, and I can say that those two players were who made them win the match.”

“This is a new team which we are preparing for the 2011 Southeast Asian Games. They’re still young and have lots of rooms to improve,” he added.

Captain Maya Puspita said she and her Petrokimia teammates were not good enough to win against Zobahan.

“We have been training together for less than a month, so we are still in the middle of the team building process,” she said. “We are still not good enough, but we believe we can play better in the next matches.”

Zobahan coach Molouk Sharif Zadeh said it was a relatively easy match but had kind words for his team’s opponents.

“We were dominating the match, but it was not that easy to win,” he said. “The Indonesian players, I think, have potential to be better, and they are still young, too.”

Petrokimia returns to the court today against Chinese Taipei of Taiwan.

Maya echoed Viktor’s call for Petrokimia’s players to improve on their Saturday performance.

“Of course we don’t want to lose twice in front of our fans. Chinese Taipei is a good team, but we’ll fight hard to win the match,” she said.

Chinese Taipei lost 25-16, 21-25, 17-25, 25-23, 15-7 against North Korea in its opener on Saturday.

Defending champion Federbrau of Thailand earned its first win in Group B by defeating KT&G Ariels of South Korea 25-12, 20-25, 25-23, 25-17.

On Sunday, Kazakhstan side Zhetyssu snatched its second victory in its group after a 25-20, 25-21, 26-24 defeat of VTV Binh Dien of Vietnam. Zhettysu leads the Group B standings with four points after also coming out on top 25-16, 25-23, 20-25, 25-22 against Chinese club Tianjin Bridgestone on Saturday.

The top four top teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals, with the tournament winner receiving a place at the FIVB Club World Championship in Doha on Dec. 14-21.

Antara, JG
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