Kyrgyzstan dent Nepal's semi-final hopesThe hosts lose the first match of AVC Asian Senior Men's Central Zone Volleyball Championship in straight sets.
Nepal lost to Kyrgyzstan in straight sets in the opening match of the AVC Asian Senior Men's Central Zone Volleyball Championship at the Army Physical Training and Sports Centre in Lagankhel, Lalitpur, on Monday.
The physically and technically superior opponents registered a 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 win over the home team. The result meant, Nepal must beat Maldives in their next match on Wednesday in the three-team group to keep afloat their hopes of making it to the semi-finals. Nepal's match featured poor defence, receiving and blocking while having no answers to their opponents' spikes. Nepal's Dhana Bahadur Bhatta collected highest 12 points including 11 from the spikes. Hari Bahadur Adhikari was the second contributor for the hosts with three points from the blocks.
Despite the defeat, Nepal's Dutch coach Han Abbing was satisfied with his team's performance. "I congratulate the Kyrgyzstan team. They were a better side and had more control in the game," said the 58-year-old. "Our opponents were in another league. Their style of play was different from ours. You have to learn to compete with such teams." The Dutch credited their opponents' physical advantage for forcing Nepal commit errors in blocking and defending. "They outjumped us. That makes us look like we were not blocking properly, but that was not the case."
Abbing was also full of praise for Kyrgyzstan spiker and captain Onolbek Kanybek Uulu, who earned 21 points from spikes. "The outside hitter especially No 7 (Uulu) was on a different level. His spikes were on another level than our block," he said adding that he had no complaints over Nepal's defence. But he was disappointed on the lack of emotions from his players as well as the fans. "We need to bring more emotions in the next match. We need to make noise, cheer whenever we win points. We should not think about the result but concentrate on our game."
Kyrgyzstan assistant coach Sarbaghyshev Kylychbek downplayed the convincing victory saying his team was lucky against Nepal. "Our middle blockers were bit taller and stronger but we need to improve on our game," said Kylychbek, who was impressed by the organised game of the hosts.
The first set saw Nepal take early 5-3 lead and it went close at 20 apiece later on. But the visitors created the base for victory after they earned three points in a row making the score 23-20. They wrapped up the set 25-23. Nepal kept the second set close but never took the lead. The home team was 20-17 at one point and that gap narrowed to within one point at 23-22. But the visitors scored when it really mattered scoring two back-to-back points to seal the set. The third set also ended in Kyrgyzstan's favour despite Nepal putting on a good fight. Nepal came within one point of their opponents at 16-15 but lost the set 25-22.
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