Bangladesh defeated Nepal by 3-1 sets in the inaugural match of the Bangabandhu Asian Senior Men’s Central Zone International Volleyball Championship at Shaheed Suhrawardi Indoor Stadium in Mirpur Saturday.
In the Group A encounter, host Bangladesh played against a strong Nepal side after the inauguration ceremony. Nepal played well in the first set, winning by 26-24 points.
Bangladesh turned around superbly in the next two sets, winning convincingly by 25-18 and 25-14 points in the second and third set respectively.
Nepal showed some fight in the fourth set but Bangladesh were composed and held their end brilliantly, winning by 25-21 points.
Bangladesh coach Ali Pour Aroji praised his charges after the win and said they are now focused on their next group stage match.
“The first win was important and we are glad that we have made a good start to the tournament. But we must win the next game as well to seal the semi-final spot. We are focused on that,” said Pour.
Bangladesh captain Horshid Biswas was delighted with the team performance but vowed to perform better in their next match against Maldives Monday.
“We lost the first set due to misunderstanding. But coach made some technical and tactical adjustments, and later, we got back our confidence, winning three consecutive sets. Now we want to perform better to win the next game against Maldives and enter the semi-final stage,” said Horshid.
A total of six teams are participating in this tournament. Bangladesh have been pitted in Group A along with Nepal and Maldives. Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan make up Group B.
Earlier, the event was inaugurated by State Minister for Youth and Sports, Biren Sikder, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and BCB president Nazmul Hasan Papon. They then gave their respective speeches.
“We have to bring volleyball back from the grass-roots. Our sports-friendly Prime Minister (Sheikh Hasina) directed us to produce more athletes from every discipline of sports. We have to produce players from volleyball also. Already we’ve built 130 mini-stadiums across the country. Hopefully we can finish another 140 mini-stadiums within the next three months,” said Sikder.
Bangladesh Volleyball Federation president Atiqul Islam, Member of Parliament from Dhaka-16 constituency, Elias Uddin Mollah, and Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin were also present among others.
Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan will face off against each other in Sunday's first match while Nepal will take on Maldives in the second game of the day.