National volleyball championship: teams qualify for semi finals

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LAHORE, Apr 20 (APP):Defending Champion Wapda breezed into the semi finals of the NDURE national volleyball championship after demolishing spirited Pakistan Army in a four games encounter 25-21,26-28,25-20 and 25-20 here on Saturday at Nishtar Park sports complex.

Despite the defeat , Army marched into the semi finals due to their better position on the points table Those which joined Wapda and Army for the last four stage included Pakistan Navy and PAF after the completion of Quarter League.

Wapda will face PAF while Army will take on NAVY in the two semifinals. Earlier, in the matches having no impact on the seedlings of the teams POF defeated HEC 25-23, 17-25, 25-19, 25-20 and Police beat Railways 25-17, 23-25, 25-19, 25-12.
Navy defeated PAF in another action packed match 27-29, 25-22, 25-14, 25-23 to move ahead.

POF faced tough resistance from HEC in the first hotly contested game. Luqman and Ziad and equally good defense by Khadim helped HEC to tame POF in the second game. They exerted pressure through their aggressive performance and forced POF to make mistakes. Saad of POF lifted the morals of his team with his hard hit serves and boosting in the third game. Masud followed him taking four straight points to earn a comfortable lead which they maintained till the end of the game.

HEC again took lead in the fourth game but POF demonstrated aggression to equal and gained control of the game at 17-14 and forced HEC boys committed mistakes at crucial stages.

However, the match between Wapda and Army turned out to be the most enthralling encounter of the Championship.

Amil Khan, Murad Jehan and Mohib Rasool guided Wapda to win a nail-biting match through their extraordinary performance that amused the spectators who cheered and chanted whenever a brilliant smash was hit or both team engaged in long rallies.

Particularly, Amil and Murad (Wapda) and Zameer an Zubair (Army) won hearts of the crowd. They came to rescue their respective teams in difficult stages of the match. Wapda exerted pressure through Muneer Khan in the first game when his team was trailing by two points amid wild smashes hit by his team mate. At 15-15, the duo of Amil and Murad came forward to help their team to gain lead.

In the second game Zameer and Haider rose to the occasion and tamed their opponents with their hard serves and compelling smashes.

Anwar also helped them with smashing in gaps. In the third game Murad and Amil earned five straight points for their team. Army’s Haider and Zameer toiled hard and succeeded in equaling the score but it was trio of Mohib, Murad and Amil which shattered their defense through impressive blocking and sturdy smashes. Muneer and Kashif also made good contribution.

Army men faltered in their serves in the decisive fourth game. Haider and Zameer again displayed their forceful smashes and impressive defense and even took lead at 13-12. At 18-18 both sides engaged themselves in a thrilling long rally. At that stage Kashif earned a valuable point for Wapda that gave his team a psychological edge.

Navy hard to struggle hard against PAF in their match. Dawood, Ismail and Abdullah led the attack from PAF with an early lead which halted Navy to attack. They smashed hard and served fast.

Libro Bilal’s well-timed boosting also helped PAF to maintain their pressure. After losing the first game Mubasher, Sharif and Khalid made combined efforts to guide Navy to gain lead in the second game. In the later stage of the game Akhtar excelled his seniors to gain valuable points through his hard smashes. Navy gained a comfortable lead in the third game.

In the fourth game PAF tried hard but their hopes were frustrated by Mubashir, Asif and Akhtar.