The 2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League (Disabled) enters its second round of fixtures this weekend with teams hoping to spring above one another in the table and smash past their opponents at Olympic Stadium
CNVLD second round entertainment
The indoor sports hall of the Olympic stadium will once again resonate to the sounds of the Cellcard 2009 National Volleyball League (Disabled) this weekend, with the ten teams playing in a selection of 12 games starting from 2pm Saturday and Sunday.
After the first rounds of games were played July 24-25, Phnom Penh Anz Dragons and Siem Reap Globe Eagles are joint leaders, having won all three of their matches.
With a congested set of fixtures, some teams are bound to come off worse from a lack of rest time. Battambang MOSVY Tigers face the Prey Veng Kingmaker Cobras and the Kampong Speu Global Scorpions Saturday in quick succession.
Potentially one of the most one-sided games Saturday sees Kratie Nike Changemakers Dolphins pitted against Pailin Stadt Frechen Lions. Kratie looked fragile in their first round ties, losing all three matches despite playing the more attractive volleyball. Kratie have yet to win a set, and are likely to be spanked by the Pailin side who benefit from endorsement by Cambodian national team coach Christian Zepp, whose hometown in Germany lends the team half its name.
First-round pacesetters Phnom Penh ANZ Dragons will hope to put distance between themselves and second place Siem Reap Globe Eagles on Sunday. The Dragons should have enough in their armoury, and one would expect them to be fired up against a strong opposition like the Eagles.
The Siem Reap Eagles (right, orange) and Prey Veng Cobras play each other July 26 during the first round of the Cellcard National Volleyball League (Disabled).
A first-time visitor of the CNVLD may doubt the disability factor of the competitors, with players exerting physical prowess seemingly beyond their handicaps, but taking a closer look will reveal prosthetic and missing limbs. The weekend's games promise to be fiercely contested and a joy to watch.
Crown look through Bangkok Glass
Phnom Penh Crown manager Makara Be and coach Apisit Im Amphai returned Thursday from their spy mission in Thailand, having witnessed the capabilities of next week's Singapore Cup opponents Bangkok Glass. "We have seen them play in a match and training, and they are very good," stated Makara Be. "They play with power, and have very strong players, which we hope our players will be able to overcome."
The manager declared he would be working on adapting techniques to counter the Thai team's crossing and long-ball tactics, which he says they use a lot.
Crown are also aware of the threat posed by their former striker, Nigerian-born Ajayi Gbenga, who now plays for Bangkok Glass. "He is very dangerous; we have to watch out for him," warned Makara Be, adding that Crown's Cameroonian hotshot Jean Roger Lappe Lappe has been lent back to Thai team Samuth Songkram, and won't feature in the weekend's game against Build Bright United or, most likely, the cup match.
However, the Cambodian champions have been boosted by the return of frontman Tunji Ayoyinka, who failed to sign for a Turkish team during his visit there, with the Crown manager asserting that the Nigerian would be available for both upcoming fixtures.
Photos by Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)