Qatar show better fighting qualities in FIVB World League second year

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Qatar may have finished seventh in their second year in the FIVB World League but their performance was better than the debut year.

In the Group 3 pool last season, Qatar had won three matches – the same number of wins they contrived even this year – to finish 31. This season, they were placed one rank below. However, what may make Italian coach Massimo Giaccardi pleased the way Qatar team is evolving.

At the world level, the competition is not easy and Qatar, with new-look team, displayed encouraging fighting qualities to beat Greece twice and Venezuela in their concluding game on Saturday.

They resisted gamely against Spain and Mexico in the Pool A and were able to snatch a set against the Spaniards in Barcelona in the first phase. In the second phase, their two wins against Greece and Venezuela were bright notes of their second campaign.

Even two of their players – wing spiker Papemaguette Diagne and setter Borislav Georgiev – found places among top five in their respective categories in the Group 3, which underline the improvement in terms of individual performances.

Diagne was third best spiker with 58.97 percent, while the list was topped by Austria’s Alexander Berger (60 percent) and Chinese Taipei’s Liu Hong-jie (59.02 percent). Georgiev finished second to Greece’s Konstantinos Stivachitis. He registered an average of 9.20, while the Greek had 9.56.

The top scorer of the group was Spanish Andres Villena who collected 50 points. Mexican Daniel Vargas (47) and Jorge Barajas (44) featured in the second and fourth spots. Austria’s Paul Buchegger logged 46 and Chinese Taipei’s Liu Hong-jie rounded out the top five with 42 points.

Germany, who were runners-up to Slovenia last year, topped the Group 3. Spain and Estonia grabbed the second and third spots to qualify for the Final Four, which will be hosted by Mexico in Leon on June 17 and 18.

2017 Group 3 overall standings
Rnk Country P W L Pts
1 Germany 6 5 1 15
2 Spain 6 5 1 14
3 Estonia 6 5 1 13
4 Austria 6 4 2 11
5 Tunisia 6 4 2 11
6 Montenegro 6 3 3 9
7 Qatar 6 3 3 9
8 Chinese Taipei 6 2 4 8
9 Mexico 6 2 4 8
10 Venezuela 6 2 4 6
11 Kazakhstan 6 1 5 3
12 Greece 6 0 6 1

Final Four fixtures
Venue: Mexico Domo de la Feria, León, Mexico

June 17
Germany vs Spain
Mexico vs Estonia

June 18
Third place playoff
Final