Sri Lanka made their way to the semi finals of the first ever Asia Men’s Volleyball Challenge Cup yesterday at the Suagathdasa stadium when thy trounced United Arab Emirates in a convincing three sets to nil win (25-20, 25-17, 25-15).
The first set began with UAE taking the lead just before the first technical time out at 8-7. Local lads fought well after return and overtook their opponents with a slender two point lead to be at 10-8 but the opponent worked well once again to snatch the lead 16-14. In quick time Lankans equalized 16-16 and moved strongly to reach the target of 25 points conceding only four points to finish the set at 25-20.
The second set began and in short period both teams were on equal terms 4 each. UAE went on to collect four points against 3 points from Lankans at the first break. As both teams were engaged in a tussle the scores came to level at 12 all. At this stage few mistakes by the visitors helped Lankans to gain a lead of two points. Homesters were quick to take the advantage of this situation fought their way to finish the set at 25-17 and stood strong with two sets to nil lead.
The third set was completely dominated by the local lads as they went ahead from the start to the first break taking 4 point lead 8-4. From there onward our players played really well in their spiking and blocking which completely baffled the opponents. In Fact the UAE lads were never had the opportunity of thwarting the barrage of spikes that came their way. At one stage Lankans were able to have an 8 point lead (22-14). Before the set end the UAE could muster only 3 points to the total when Lankans finished the set and the match at 25-15.
With yesterday’s victory Sri Lanka will get the chance to play in the semi final against Iraq as Iraq was able to overcame Malaysia in a four setter (25-27, 25-21, 25-23, 25-20) in the quarterfinal match played in the morning session.
In another quarterfinal game Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made a comfortable 3–0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-15) victory over Malaysia to book their berth in the second semifinal which too is to be played today.