Geraldo’s power-packed smashes subdued defending champions Police in straight sets, scotching the latter’s hopes of taking the Qatar Volleyball Association League title defence to the last match.
At the QVA Hall on Sunday, Al Ahli Club hit the front in the crucial stages of the opening set and went on to reel off a stunning 25-23, 25-16, 25-23 victory with Geraldo collecting 21 of his 26 points from spikes and blocks.
While it was the ninth triumph for Al Ahli in 17 matches, the third setback for the holders Police in 16 matches meant Al Rayyan Club have bagged the ninth League crown.
Earlier, Police badly needed full three points to keep hopes for the back-to-back title alive. But Geraldo, with a commendable support from Alaoui (13 points), scripted the superb triumph and did a great favour to Al Rayyan.
Al Rayyan have secured 46 points from 16 wins in a row and have got two more matches to play – against Al Ahli on April 4 and Police on April 7. Even if they lose both the matches, they would still be the champions on fewer losses than Police.
Al Rayyan Club had been going through some turbulent time with two key players being banned by the QVA for eight matches and one more for three matches. The punishment was handed to them for an on-court brawl last week after they defeated Qatar Sports Club in a cliff-hanger. Though the two teams met yesterday and struck a peace deal, the short-handed Al Rayyan had been having goose bumps about the next matches until the setback of Police on Sunday.
For Police, Mads Ditlevsen was the best scorer with 18. John Chigbo and Nadir Abubaker were not as successful as they normally are, getting only eight and seven points, respectively.
In another match, Al Gharafa Club defeated Al Sadd Club in four sets by 25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22.
This was the sixth triumph for Al Gharafa, taking their points tally to 17 in 17 matches. For bottom-placed Al Sadd, it was the 16th defeat in 17 matches.
Al Ahli Club beat Police 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-23)
Al Gharafa Club beat Al Sadd Club 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-22 25-22)