Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, October 15, 2021 – Kazakhstan’s Burevestnik Almaty claimed the bronze medal at the 2021 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship after a 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-21) demolition of hosts Nakhon Ratchasima QminC VC in the third-place playoff at Terminal 21 Hall on Friday.
Suffering a bitter 2-3 loss to Al-Arabi Sports Club from Qatar in the do-or-die semifinals the previous day, Burevestnik Almaty came out fighting against Nakhon Ratchasima, hoping to revive their fortunes in a consolation match against the team they had already beaten 3-0 in the preliminary Pool A clash earlier.
The hosts pulled out all stops to taste revenge for their previous loss, but Burevestnik Almaty proved consistently stronger with the likes of their 196cm-tall powerful hitter Sergey Rezanov and veteran Vitaliy Vorivodin. The Thai side was strengthened by Thanat Bamrungpakdee, hard-attacking Wanchai Tabwises and left-hander Amorntep Konhan.
Both sides got off to a thrilling start. Thanat and Wanchai produced solid blocks to help Nakhon Ratchasima take the lead up to 17-15, but the Kazakhs roared back with spikes and powerful jump serves to win the hard-fought set 25-23.
The second set turned out to be one-way traffic as Mikhail Ustinov displayed his premium skills while penetrating the Thai defence with his spectacular attacks for his team’s commanding 22-12 lead. After that, the strong visitors made short work of the smaller-built rivals to win the lopsided battle 25-17.
Nakhon Ratchasima stayed cool under pressure in the third set, but the confident Kazakhs played with more consistency to take a narrow 21-18 lead before stretching it to 24-19. Exceptional tactics including terrific jump serves and thundering cross-court spikes from Sergey and efficient blocks by Vladimir Prokofyev and Vorivodin proved the difference. Burevestnik Almaty clinched the set 25-21, the match and the bronze medal.
Sergey Rezanov led Burevestnik Almaty with 17 points, 10 kills, and team-leading 5 blocks, while Wanchai Tabwises was the only Thai player who scored double digits with 11 points for Nakhon Ratchasima, all from the attacks.