Suntory Sunbirds (Japan) and Jakarta Bayangkara Fresh 먹튀검증(Indonesia) have been crowned champions and runners-up respectively at the 2023 Asia Men’s Club Volleyball Championship after defending champions Korean Air.
Sunburst won the title with a 3-1 (28-26 25-23 23-25 25-17) victory over Bayankara in the tournament final at the ISA Sports City Arena in Manama, Bahrain, on Nov. 22 (local time).
Suntory main man Dmitry MUSHALSKY (RUS) led the way with 31 points. Cuban Alain chipped in with 26 points. For Bayankara, Manavinejad (Iran) scored 22 points and Dowdy Okello (Uganda) 21, but it wasn’t enough to prevent defeat.
Santori, who were runners-up in 2021 and last year, took the title this time. They are the first Japanese club to win the tournament. As a result, Suntory will represent Asia at the 2023 International Volleyball Federation Men’s Volleyball Club World Championship in India later this year.
“Through this tournament, we realized that the level of volleyball in Asia is high,” Suntory head coach Kona Yamamura told the Asian Volleyball Federation, “and we are happy to qualify for the Club World Championship. We will show our skills as a representative of Asia.”
[SEOUL, South Korea] Suntory Musialski. 2023.05.23. (Photo courtesy of the Asian Volleyball Federation) *Resale and DB prohibited
Both Suntory and Bayankara, who face each other in the final, have defeated Korean Air in the tournament. Suntory defeated Korean Air in the quarterfinals and Bayankara defeated Korean Air in the group stage.
Muschalsky, who made waves by ranking Korean Air at the bottom of the Japanese volleyball league, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Libero honors went to Bayankara’s Raka Abinaya (Indonesia), Setter honors went to Suntory’s Masaki Oya (Japan), Middle Blocker honors went to Qatar Police Sports Team’s Beral Nabel Abunabot (Qatar) and Bayankara’s Hendra Kurniawan (Indonesia), Outside Hitter honors went to Shahdavu Yazd’s Amir Ghafoor (Iran), and Outside Hitter honors went to Suntory’s Alain and Bayankara’s Manabinejad.