The Foulad Sirjan Iranian made quick work of the Team Rebisco Philippines, 25-15, 25-22, 25-5, in the 2021 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship at the Terminal 21 Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand Friday, Oct. 8.
Down 0-2, Rebisco suffered a third set drubbing as Foulad Sirjan uncorked a 9-0 run to pull away for good and never look back.
The Iranian squad continued the punishment and unloaded another 8-0 blitz to widen the gap at 19-2 capped by a Mojtaba Gholizad off-the-block hit.
“It’s a really great opportunity for us to finally get back to competing internationally after almost two years,” said head coach Dante Alinsunurin. “It’s a tremendous experience for us, as well, that we got to face a high-level Asian team like Iran.”
The country’s men’s spikers have their best chances in the second set as Joshua Umandal hit back-to-back attacks to cut the deficit by one and trail at 22-23.
But Umandal’s efforts went into naught after two costly errors easily gave the set win for the reigning Iranian Super League champions, led by Mohammad Sadeghi and Ramin Khani who both led their squad with nine points apiece.
“We really struggled but I am still glad of how we fought and tried to bring the best out of each other,” said the former UST Tiger Spiker. “The Iranian team’s on a different level, but I am confident with my team and all the preparations we did to get here.
“We didn’t take the win but we are still grateful for the chance to compete against them,” added Umandal, who paced Rebisco with seven points alongside Mark Alfafara. Nico Almendras, for his part, added six points.
The Philippine team fell to a 0-1 record in its first match while the Iranian squad earned its first win in Pool B.
Up next for Rebisco is AGMK of Uzbekistan Saturday, Oct. 9 at 11 a.m. (Manila time) at the same venue.