Photo by: NICK SELLS (www.nicksellsphotography.com)
Teams from the Cellcard National Volleyball League (Disabled) compete during their second-round match at Olympic Stadium’s indoor hall Saturday.
THE indoor sports hall of Olympic Stadium was bustling over the weekend as the 2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League (Disabled) played out its second round of games.
Nine matches were staged over Saturday and Sunday, with teams playing matches of five sets - as opposed to the three sets played in the first round - and three scheduled fixtures had to be postponed due to time constraints. General Secretary of the CNVLD Christopher Minko stated that the extra sets were necessary to improve the fitness level of the players ahead of December's 2009 World Volleyball Cup, to be held in Phnom Penh.
In the first match played Saturday, Kampong Speu CTN Koupreys were too much for their opponents, the Takeo ISPP Templestowe Falcons, whom they spiked out in three straight sets.
The Koupreys dominated the opening exchanges, with two straight sets easily deserved. The Falcons fought back in the third set but couldn't hold off the rampant Koupreys, who recorded their first victory of the competition.
The second matchup between joint league leaders Siem Reap Globe Eagles and Kampong Cham Bartu Bulls was stretched to four sets as the Eagles overcame a resilient Bulls team to maintain their perfect record over four matches. Bulls captain San Veasna provided some scintillating displays, but his numerous powerful spikes couldn't save his side from going down 1-3 to the Siem Reap team.
The third game drew even more cheering fans, as Battambang MOSVY Tigers went to battle with Prey Veng Kingmakers. The Tigers carried a 2-0 record going into the match, while the Kingmakers had to notch a win from their two first-round encounters. Despite the statistics, the Prey Veng team gave their Battambang counterparts a real run for their money, coming from two sets down to draw level and take it into a fifth set. However, the Tigers were the younger and fitter of the sides and prevailed at the end to add to their winning streak.
The fourth and final game of the day saw Pailin Stadt Frechen Lions fall 0-3 to the Kratie Nike Changemakers Dolphins. The Dolphins claimed their first victory of the campaign, while the Lions are still looking for their first after their Sunday game was postponed.
The star game Sunday was between six-time champions Phnom Penh ANZ Royal Dragons and the Siem Reap Globe Eagles. The Eagles again showed their dominance, treating the Dragons to a straight-sets defeat. The combination of national team players Prep Tith, Heav Vannak and Chak Than proved too much for Dragons' stalwarts Thea Vanna, Ny Lida, and Em Mary.
Kampong Speu Global Giving Scorpions, led by captain and national team player Phen Sarath, spanked Battambang Tigers 3-0 Sunday, and later went on to dismiss Kampong Cham Bulls with the same score, to improve their win record to 4-0.
Matches of Kratie Dolphins and Phnom Penh Dragons, Frechen Lions and Prey Veng Cobras, and Battambang Tigers and Takeo Falcons were postponed.