Arab Club Championship winners Al Rayyan Club, who had already won the Qatar Volleyball Association League title, put up their tough character on display in the last match as they stymied Police in five sets on Saturday.
Twice behind the defending champions Police, Al Rayyan Club, also having some of their main players unable to play due to ban and suspension, rallied back through their reserves and finished the League with a gritty 21-25, 25-15, 25-17, 25-17 win in one hour and 32 minutes.
QVA President Ali Ghanim al Kuwari was the chief guest at the closing ceremony and gave away the prizes and trophies.
With the 18th victory in a row, Al Rayyan Club remained unbeaten and collected 50 points, four more than runners-up Police. Al Arabi Club, 25 times winners, were third after beating Al Gharafa Club 21-25, 25-15, 25-17, 25-17 in one hour and 32 minutes for their 14th triumph with 43 points. In the fourth spot were Qatar Sports Club, who had 11 wins from 18 matches. The top five was completed by Al Ahli Club with nine wins in 18 matches, taking their points tally to 29.
After sharing the first four sets, Al Rayyan Club forged 5-2 ahead in the decider and increased it to 10-7. Then Police launched a last-ditch effort and narrowed down the gap before Al Rayyan cut short their recovery and clinched the fifth set at 15-11, much to joy of a big crowd of their fans.
This was the ninth QVA League crown for Al Rayyan and came after a gap of two seasons. The Lions also finished runners-up on 11 occasions, mostly to Al Arabi. Police got the second place for the third time.
Rahimi Wadidi led the Al Rayyan with 18 points, including 16 of them from spikes and blocks. Ivan Borovnjak, who was in the Serbian squad which won the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, was the second best with 16, while middle player Bilal added 10 and Bairama Faye got nine.
For Police, Danish pro Mads Ditlevsen collected 19 points. Neto also had a rich haul of 16, while Vantislas and John Chigbo netted 11 each.
Artur Belarus displayed a splendid all-round show and collected 21 points in the Al Arabi Club’s victory against Al Gharafa. Middle player Mohamed Ibrahim and Rena Rebeiro got 15 each and Bassam (10) was the fourth player to contribute in double digits.
For Al Gharafa, Danger made the best and logged 13 points. Bojan added 11 and Pedro earned nine.
Al Arabi Club beat Al Gharafa Club 21-25, 25-15, 25-17, 25-17 in one hour and 32 minutes
Al Rayyan Club beat Police 22-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-23, 15-11 in one hour and 55 minutes
Rnk Team P W L Pts
1 Al Rayan 18 18 0 50
2 Police 18 14 4 44
3 Al Arabi 18 14 4 43
4 Qatar SC 18 11 7 31
5 Al Ahli 18 9 9 29
6 Al Wakrah 18 8 10 25
7 Al Shamal 18 6 12 18
8 Al Gharafa 18 6 12 17
9 Al Sadd 18 2 16 7
10 Al Khor 18 2 16 6
Keys: P played, W won, L lost, Pts points