Saturday, April 24, 2010

Indonesian men triumph, but women drop out in the semifinals

Matheos Viktor Messakh
The Jakarta Post/Batam

Indonesian men’s pair Koko Prasetyo and Andy Ardiyansah came back from one-set down to beat Reza Assari Naeni and Rahman Raoufi of Iran in the rain-affected final on Saturday to win the trophy at the inaugural Asia-Pacific Beach Volley Ball Tournament in Batam.
In the first set, Koko and Andy had little to offer and surrendered 14-21, but started to find form at the beginning of the second set to lead 9-5 before rain temporarily stopped the match. The Indonesian duo maintained the high tempo when the game resumed 10 minutes later and capped the set 21-8.
Using the momentum, Koko and Andy led in the third set from the start to complete a comeback and win the set 21-15.
“In the first set, we tried normal serves, but it seemed like they had no difficulty receiving. Then we decided to use jump serves and it held back their attacks, helping us gain crucial points. From that point on, we knew their defense was the weak spot,” Koko said after the match.
Andy said that they had faced the Iranian pair several times before, and that they had improved a lot.
“Iran has at least three good teams and this is one of them.”
Although Koko and Andy admitted that while the rain played a part in their win, it was their more aggressive strategy that helped seal victory.
“The rain interruption allowed us to regain our strength, but without the change in strategy, the rain would not have helped,” Andy said.
The pair picked up US$3,000 in prize money while the Iran duo bagged $2,250.
“Andy and Koko are good all-round. We tried our best with our spikes and serves, but most of the time they managed to answer,” Reza said.
He added that the rain was not unexpected and had little effect on the match. “In beach volleyball, we have to be prepared for rain. It’s different if you play indoors,” he said.
Koko and Andy advanced to the final after defeating Rafi Asruki Bin Nordin and Khoo Chong Long of Malaysia 21-18, 21-15 in the semifinals earlier in the day, while the Irans ousted New Zealand siblings Sam and Ben O’Dea 21-18, 21-18 in the other semifinal.
In the battle for third, the O’Deas defeated the Malaysians 21-15, 21-18.
In the women’s division, Indonesians Ayu Cahyaningsiam and Efa Sri Susilowati were stopped by Irina Tsimbalova and Mashakova Tatyana of Kazakhstan. The visitors needed only 40 minutes to book a place in the final with an emphatic 21-16, 21-16 beatdown.
Later in the day, Ayu and Efa also lost to Julalak Radarong and Meneerat Udomcahvee of Thailand in the match for third place.
“We are grateful that we reached the semifinals. The Thais are quite good because they focus on beach volleyball, while Efa and I play professionally in the Proliga [Indonesia’s indoor volleyball league],” Ayu told The Jakarta Post.
With their fourth-place finish, Ayu and Efa took home $1350.
In the women’s final, the Kazakhs stole victory from a Japanese duo.
“We are very happy. This is our first win in an international tournament. We started playing as a pair this year and have participated in four international tournaments and this is our best result,” 22-year-old Mashakova said.
They take home $3,000 in prize money.
Sam O’Dea and Tsimbalova were also chosen as the best players of the tournament.

Ayu, Efa cruise into semifinals in Batam

Matheos Viktor Messakh/The Jakarta Post/Batam

The Indonesian women’s team of Ayu Cahyaningsiam and Efa Sri Susilowati advanced to the semifinals of the Asia-Pacific Beach Volley Ball Tournament in Batam after defeating Elisa Dean and Sara Battaglene of Australia in three sets on Friday.
Indonesian top men’s pair, Koko Prasetyo and Andy Ardiyansah were also through after beating Casey Grice and Adam Blackburn of Australia on Friday evening 21-12, 22-20.
The Australians secured a rematch with Koko and Andy after previously defeating Pradeep John and Mohan of India 21-18, 21-18.
Ayu and Efa, who defeat New Zealanders Sonia Dunne and Chantal Tung 21-15, 21-11 earlier in the day, survived a late warm-up to defeat the Australians 19-21, 21-14, 15-12.
“They were just really good at bringing up everything, they always managed to scramble tough plays and put it back over when we weren’t ready,” Dean told The Jakarta Post after the match.
Efa said they advanced to the next round as they had nothing to lose, considering that they were relative unknowns.
“We played with no pressure at all and that made us very comfortable. We just need to be careful in the next round because we have never met any of these teams before, and we especially need to be careful against Kazakhstan and Japan,” Efa said.
“Yesterday they were struggling, but today they seemed to have found their form,” coach Slamet Mulyanto said.
Ayu and Efa play for Jakarta Popsivo Polwan in Proliga, Indonesia’s professional indoor volleyball league, but Popsivo missed the league playoffs and allowed the duo to play beach volleyball.
Ayu’s previous partner was Devota Rahawarin, while Efa played alongside Yokbeth Kappasiang. However, Devota and Yokbeth could not play in the tournament because their club, Jakarta BNI 46, qualified for the Proliga playoffs.
Another Indonesian duo, Riris Irawati and Fitri Wijayanti, were eliminated from the tournament, losing to Kazakhstan’s Pilipenko Marina and Samalikova Bakhtygul 21-10, 24-22.
Earlier on Friday, in the men’s division, Indonesians Agung Santoso and Nacy Subagya eased through their first game in the morning with a 21-19, 21-12 victory against Masakazu Ushio and Masakazu Hisasue of Japan, but later in the evening the duo lost to Sam O’Dea and Ben O’Dea of New Zealand.
The New Zealand duo, who are ranked fifth in the world among under-21s, advanced to the elimination round.
Another Indonesian pair, Jonathan Monim and Robertus Yanakaimu, were also dumped from the tournament. The Papuan duo was easily defeated 21-14, 21-14 by Kittipat Yungtin and Teerapat Pollueang of Thailand in 35 minutes.

RI women teams advance along with two men teams

Matheos Viktor Messakh, The Jakarta Post, Batam Fri, 04/23/2010 11:47 AM

Indonesia will be represented by two pairings each in the women’s and men’s divisions at the second round of the Asia-Pacific Beach Volleyball Tournament in Batam following Thursday’s group stages.
Ayu Cahyaningsiam and Eri Sri Susilowati secured a spot in the second round after defeating Malaysia’s Kuck Sea Yeng and Woo Ching Ru on Thursday 21-6, 21-8 in 40 minutes to finish runner-up in the pool C.
Previously, the duo defeated Hong Kong’s Wong Wai Fong and Wong Yuen Mei 2-1 and lost to Thailand’s Julalak Radarong and Maneerat Udomchavee 1-2 in Wednesday’s matches.
The Thai duo is undefeated in three matches and topped pool C.
As runner-up, the Indonesian duo will meet the third-placed team from either pool A, B or D, while the Thais face a relatively easier road as they play the fourth-placed team from either pool A, B or D. The drawing of lots for the single elimination round is held on Thursday night.
The pair follows in the footsteps of Indonesia’s Riris Irawati and Fitri Wijayanti, who also booked a place in the next round, although they will face the top team from another group following two defeats in the group stage.
After being defeated by New Zealand’s Micah Brown and Hannah Croad on Wednesday, the young Indonesian duo suffered another defeat to Thailand’s Prateep Kambut and Aunchalee Yansuwan on Thursday.
“They did not play very well and I think we play at the same level but we lost because we had less passion,” 20-year-old Fitri told The Jakarta Post.
Riris and Fitri still have another match against Australia’s Eliza Dean and Sarah Bataglene in the evening that will decided whether they finish third or fourth in pool D.
In the men’s division, Indonesia’s Koko Prasetyo and Andy Ardiansyah will have a relatively easy draw because as the pool B winners, they will play the runner up from either pool A, C, D, E, F, G or H. The draw is also held on Thursday night.
Another Indonesian duo, Jonathan Monim and Robertus Yanakaimu, also secured a spot in the elimination round although they were defeated by Thailand’s Sittichai Sangkhacot and Prathip Sukto 6-21, 16-21 on Wednesday.
The Indonesian duo finished second in pool A because there are only two team in the pool. They will play the winner of either group A, C, D, E, F, G or H.
Agung Santoso and Naci Subagya will have to wait for Thursday evening’s game to see whether they advanced to the next round.

Koko, Andy spike their way into second round

Matheos Viktor Messakh, The Jakarta Post, Batam Thu, 04/22/2010 11:34 AM

Indonesia number one beach volleyball pair Koko Prasetyo and Andy Ardiansyah put on a good show to outlast Adam Blackburn and Casey Grice of Australia in the first round of the Asia-Pacific Beach Volley Ball Tournament in Batam on Wednesday. The tandem, ranked 31st in the world, needed 43 minutes to stop the Australians with 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) and went directly through to the second knock-down round as there were only two teams in the pool.
Even with the local crowd cheering support, the Australians dominated the game from the start with one or two points ahead, and only gave the change to Koko and Andy to equalize at 11-11, 14-14, 16-16 and 18-18.
Later, two blocks by Andy gave a morale boost to the Indonesians before a spike form Koko closed the first game 21-19. A spike from Andy ended the second set contest at 20-18.
“They had a strong serve, so we needed some time to anticipate their play,” Koko told The Jakarta Post after the game.
“That’s why we were trailing in the first set. But when we learned that they were not as good in defense, we were able to control the game,” he said.
Andy/Koko won a gold medal in the 2007 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games before going on to win at the inaugural Asian Beach Games in Bali last year.
Earlier on Thursday, Indonesian juniors Jonathan Monim-Robertus Yanakaimu surrendered to Thailand’s Sittichai Sangkhachot-Pratip Sukto 21-6, 21-16.
In the women draw, Indonesia’s Ayu Cahyaning Siam-Eri Sri Susilowati survived a first-set loss to defeat Hong Kong’s Wong Fai Wong-Wong Yuen Mei with 19-21, 21-5, 15-8.
In a previous match, Indonesia’s Riris Irawati and Fitri Wijayanti were defeated by New Zealand’s Micah Lindsay Brown and Hannah Croad 2-0 (21-19,21-16).
“In each set, Riris and Fitri made a lot of mistakes they should have not made, especially in their spike. This should not have happened, they were supposed to be consistent,” Indonesian coach Slamet Mulyanto told the Post.
The New Zealanders were happy with the results.
“It’s really important to come first in your pool, because otherwise when you are through to the next round you’ll face a very hard team. But if you can win your pool, you have an easier team. Our goals is to be number one in our pool,” Brown told the Post after the game.
“We really wanted to win, and our serving and diving is better and stronger,” he said.
“I know they play quite well. They are lovely people, so it’s hard when you play people you like,” Brown said of Riris and Fitri.
The first day of the tournament featured 12 macthes in women divisions and 10 matches in men’s.

Batam Beach Volley Ball tourney sets new standards

Matheos Viktor Messakh, The Jakarta Post, Nongsa, Batam Wed, 04/21/2010 12:07 PM

After a year of preparations, the first Batam Open Asia-Pacific Beach Volleyball Tournament finally will kick off on Wednesday, with some top beach volleyball players form 12 Asia-Pacific countries set to take part. Twenty-three men’s teams and 16 women’s teams from powerhouse countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Japan, India and Hong Kong have arrived to for the tournament, which has been endorsed by the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC).
“We have been preparing for this event for about a year and it has been quite a struggle to get this event off the ground. We first got approval from the National Sports Council [KONI] and later also got approval from the AVC and this very first event in Batam finally included in the Asian Circuit,” tournament chairman Djoko Pramono said.
The tournament, which runs from April 21-24, will be unique. Unlike other beach volleyball contests, this will be held on man-made courts purpose built on a cliff at the Turi Beach Resort in Nongsa, Batam, with a nice view to Singapore and Johor, Malaysia. The other unique aspect of this competition is that it will be played at night.
“I’m very impressed with the venue. I’ve been to a lot of events in the past 20 years and coming to this venue and seeing what has been done here is fantastic, … it has something different to other events,” AVC technical delegate Harrison Blair said.
“When Pak Djoko first mentioned to me about hosting the beach volleyball tournament here in Batam, the first thing I asked him was ‘what kind of beach do we need, because we don’t have a lot of beach space here ... and here we are playing beach volleyball on a cliff, overlooking the sea, overlooking the two countries Singapore, and [Malaysia]. That’s quite symbolic,” Asia Pacific Beach Volley Ball chairman Michael Wiluan said.
AVC Beach Volley Ball Council secretary Hercus Andrew was also impressed with the preparations.
“We had a planning meeting this year, and one of the main objectives was is to improve the quality of tournaments. I have to say my first impression is very strong, that this is a very big improvement on tournaments we’ve had in previous years,” Andrew said.
Boasted to be a “potential” tournament to help build a development plan in the lead up to the next Olympic Games, the event is expected to draw at least 1,000 locals during weekdays and up to 2,000 on the weekend.
The tournament, which provides a total of US$ 30,000 in prizes, will start with a group-stage play at the beginning, before moving into single elimination format, in which teams are divided based on rankings. From there it will move into a straight knock-out competition through to the final.
Indonesia will feature three men teams and three women’s team including champion couple Koko Darkuncoro-Andy Ardiyansah.
“The Indonesian men have been doing very well so far, and probably would be considered favorites for the semifinals. With a lot of support from locals, they would be strong candidates,” Andrew said.