PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s challenge in the men’s Asian Under-23 Volleyball Championship in Iran ended in the quarter-finals.
Yesterday, Malaysia went down 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-23) to Japan at the Rezazadeh Stadium in Ardabil.
National coach Tay Yeu Siong said it was good exposure for his young squad, made up mostly of Under-21 players.
“The glaring difference is our lack of experience compared to the Asian giants. Our boys can fight as shown by the scores,” said Yeu Siong.
Malaysia reached the quarter-finals after finishing runners-up behind China in the three-team Group C.
Malaysia, represented by the Aug 19-30 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games squad, pulled off a surprise when they upstaged Australia 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-22) on Monday. They lost 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-19) to China on Tuesday.
In the playoffs to decide on their quarter-final opponents, Malaysia lost 3-1 in both their matches to defending champions Iran (23-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-21) on Thursday and Pakistan (23-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-21) on Friday.
Malaysia will now be involved in tomorrow’s fifth to eighth classification matches.
The top two teams in the 11-nation championship will qualify for the Under-23 World Championship in Egypt from Aug 18-26.
Japan bt Malaysia 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-23), Thailand bt Pakistan 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-17).