The Siem Reap Globe Eagles will face the Kompong Speu Global Giving Scorpions in the 2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League Grand Finals on 16 October.
After sensationally trouncing every team in the 2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League, Siem Reap Globe Eagles staked their nest at the top of the table with an amazing 9-0 match record while only losing 3 sets on their storming flight to the finals. Kompong Speu Global Giving Scorpions clinched second place having lost only two matches to Siem Reap and third place team Kompong Speu CTN Koupreys. The Scorpions, 2008’s 3rd place team, narrowly clinched their finals berth by just one set lost over the Koupreys who had also won 7 of their 9 games and take 3rd. The Scorpions came close to losing their slimmest of margins after dropping a set in a tight match against 6th place Takeo ISPP Templestowe Falcons but held on to ensure their finals spot with a comprehensive 3-0 thrashing of 8th place Prey Veng Kingmaker Cobras.
The 3rd-4th place play-off will see 2008 National Volleyball League Champions Kompong Speu CTN Koupreys square up to 6-times National League Champions Phnom Penh ANZ Royal Dragons who managed to halt their abrupt slide down the rankings on the last day of competition to steal 4th by defeating newcomers Kompong Cham Bartu Bulls and narrowly overcoming Kratie Nike Changemakers Dolphins.
The 2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League Grand Finals will see the top four teams in the country play for the coveted positions of Champions and 2nd-3rd places along with the largest purse in Cambodian sports. The National League Champions will take home $3000 with 2nd pocketing $2000 and 3rd sharing $1000. While the dollars provide adequate incentive, there is little doubt that provincial pride is what’s truly at stake.
The 4th Round Competition held at the Olympic Stadium on 25-26 September once again witnessed some of the most competitive volleyball in the history of the league with 5th place Battambang MOSVY Tigers only missing out on a play-off spot by 2 lost sets to Phnom Penh ANZ Royal Dragons. Dragons Coach Kim Horn is now planning a radical overhaul of his team through an injection of new young athletes into his aging squad after their worst performance in years. With only Takeo ISPP Templestowe Falcons to play at the weekend, both Takeo and Battambang mathematically had a chance for a play-off spot, but Battambang’s team spirit prevailed over a lethargic Falcons team who had earlier pushed the Scorpions to the limit with the north-west team swiping an easy 3-0 victory leaving Takeo ISPP Templestowe Falcons to take a respectable 6th.
At the tail end of the table, Kratie Nike Changemakers Dolphins battled through a 5-set marathon against Phnom Penh to narrowly lose out 2-3 before being given a swift lesson in net work by the domineering Eagles to lose 0-3. However, victory over Kompong Cham, Prey Veng and Pailin over the course of the season leaves Kratie in a respectable 7th place. Close behind in 8th are newcomers and the surprise of the year, Kompong Cham Bartu Bulls who genuinely impressed everyone with their team spirit, morale and love of the game. Led by National Team spiker Sang Veasna, the Bulls have quickly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with and even took a set off Phnom Penh on the final day of the season. 2010 will see former National Team player Pin Ty take the coaching reins in Kompong Cham with Sang Veasna tasked with establishing a crack new team in Kandal province.
Prey Veng Kingmaker Cobras and Pailin Frechen Lions prop up the bottom of the ladder with a 1-8 and 0-9 record respectively. Prey Veng could consider themselves unlucky after a number of very close matches and the Cobras remain one of the most consistent and tight knit teams in the league, hindered only by a distinct lack of height at the net with the departure of 6-footer Met Mean to Kratie. It’s back to the drawing board for Pailin though who had their most disastrous season since joining the National League in 2006. Coach Khem Pheng Tong had no excuses for his underachieving side which was once feared nationwide for their aggressive style of play. Expect a rejuvenated team to enter the court in 2010!
With the 2009 Cellcard WOVD Cambodia World Cup just around the corner in December, selection for the Cambodian National Team is dominating team talks and National Coach Christian Zepp has the potential to pick a dream team with a real chance of clinching the World #1 position.
The CNVLD wishes to thank Cellcard and all the team sponsors in the 2009 Cellcard National Volleyball League as well as R.O Water and the volunteer team from DDD and ANZ Royal Bank for helping to make this year’s national league the best ever.