Diamond Food stages comeback to beat AGMK in epic tie-breaker for first win at Asian Men’s Club Championship

Spikes and blocks were the name of the game as Diamond Food defeated AGMK.

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, October 8, 2021 – Embattled Diamond Food produced a fantastic comeback to beat Uzbekistan Premier League champions AGMK in a hard-fought, five-set thriller 19-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-23, and 15-13 for their first win in the 2021 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship at Terminal 21 Hall on Friday.

AGMK, whose seven players experienced the last month’s Asian Senior Men’s Championship in Chiba, Japan, fielded a strong line-up led by powerful Bunyodbek Khosinov to beat the Thailand League runners-up Diamond Food 25-19 in the first set, thanks to their excellent teamwork and solid defense.

In the second set, both teams were levelled 10-10, but triple blocks from Kissada Nilsawai, Anuchit Phakdeekaew, and Kittikun Sri-utthawong helped Diamond Food advance to 19-16. However, Sajar Akhtamov saved the day for AGMK when he produced huge blocks to narrow the margin 18-19. Soon after, Diamond Food effectively blocked the Uzbek attacks and tore their defense apart with their powerful attacks to close the set 25-18 for a 1-1 tie.

AGMK took an early lead 4-1 in the third set, forcing Diamond Food head coach Somboon Nakpueng to call a timeout to improve their fortunes which helped them take the narrow 16-15 lead. However, the strong visitors came back with exceptional tactics and form to win the close set 25-23 to take a 2-1 lead.

Uzbekistan Premier League champions AGMK were a formidable opponent.

Diamond Food came into the court in the fourth set with a winning attitude, and they took the lead at 10-7 and left the Uzbeks with just a two-point advantage at 16-14 at the second technical time-out. The substitutions fielded by Aziz Teshabaev, head coach of AGKM, could not make any changes as the determined Thais moved on to take the hotly-contested set 25-23, forcing the decider.

In the do-or-die tiebreaker, Diamond Food gained the upper hand to take an initial 8-7 lead. Nonetheless, AGMK didn’t surrender easily, hitting back gallantly to catch the tough opponents at some crucial moments, but Diamond Food continued to seal the deal in exciting fashion, 15-13.

“Our playing was a bit unstable today, as a Belarusian setter had just joined our team recently and had no time to adapt himself to his new teammates. We hope to do better in the following matches,” Diamond Food’s Kantapat Koonmee commented after the match.

Diamond Food came to play.