Bahrain gearing up for Asian clubs volleyball
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
The 2023 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship, set to be hosted by the Kingdom from Sunday next week, is set to be held under the patronage of Supreme Council for Youth and Sports first deputy chairman, General Sports Authority president and Bahrain Olympic Committee chief His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
The tournament, set to feature 16 teams from across the continent, will be taking place until May 21.
It is being organised by the Bahrain Volleyball Association (BVA) in cooperation with the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC).
Bahrain volleyball giants Al Ahli are set to compete in the event.
They have been drawn in Pool A along with Korean Air Jumbos Pro-Volleyball Club from South Korea, Canberra Heat from Australia and Jakarta Bhayangkara Presisi taking from Indonesia.
Pool B is set to feature Shahdab Yazd from Iran, South Gas Sports Club from Iraq, Taichung Bank from Chinese-Taipei and Kam Air from Afghanistan.
Pool C comprises Suntory Sunbirds from Japan, Diamond Food Fine Chef-Air Force from Thailand, Bayankhongor Crownd Geo VC from Mongolia and Khaypil Sports Club from Yemen.
Pool D features Atyrau VC from Kazakhstan, Police Sports Team from Qatar, Aspiring Volleyball Team from Hong Kong and Kuwait Sporting Club from Kuwait.
Ahli are set to be guided in the competition by Tunisian head coach Nezar Al Shakili, a former Bahrain national team tactician.
He will be relying on top local stars Naser Anan, Mohammed Anan, Abbas Al Khabbaz, Ali Alsairafi, Sayed Mohammed Alabbar and Mahmood Abdulhussain, among others.
Ahli are expected to sign a couple of other players for the tournament before finalising their roster.
Ahli recently captured the silver medals in the 2023 Crown Prince’s Cup Volleyball Tournament, along with the bronze medals in the 2022/2023 Isa bin Rashid Bahrain Volleyball League.
Aside from being a continental championship, the winners of the annual tournament qualify for the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship.
This year’s event will be the second time the Kingdom has staged the competition.
It previously held the 2007 edition, which was won by Paykan Tehran of Iran. A Bahrain club has yet to step onto the podium in the tournament.
Last year’s competition was also won by Paykan at home, where they defeated Japan’s Suntory Sunbirds in the final.