The Indian men’s under-23 volleyball team got through to the quarterfinals of the Asian Volleyball Championship which is currently being held in Myanmar.
Despite going down 2-3 to Thailand in the final group game, the Indian team went through to the quarterfinals by virtue of topping the group. They achieved this feat by beating both China and New Zealand.
Thus it marks the first time that the nation will be making an appearance in the last eight of the tournament. China make it into the next round alongside India having finished second.
While India were already in a commanding position having beaten both China and New Zealand, they made it into the last 8 despite their final group game vs Thailand ending in a defeat. The Indians took the first set with a comfortable margin of 25-15.
Thailand made a bold comeback in the second set to win it 25-23. It was a similar script in the third as Thailand looked to run riot on the Indians. But a determined India won the fourth set to take the match into a decider. But the side failed to wrap it up and surrendered to a 13-15 defeat in the final set.
India’s coach Pritam Singh Chauhan following the side’s qualification went on to reveal about the tactics that his players adopted to get the better of both China and New Zealand.
“They played brilliantly against China and New Zealand. China plays the fast game so we slowed things down against them. Meanwhile, we also adapted to New Zealand’s style of play which is similar to the European style,” India coach Pritam Singh Chauhan, said.
“However, Thailand’s game is very similar to ours and we could have possibly done slightly better in the blocking department. But it was a very close match and a much needed wake-up call for the boys before the knockouts,” he added.
India’s upcoming fixtures will be against both Kazakhstan and Japan, in the bid to determine first to eighth places for the quarterfinals.