Sri Lanka National Men’s Volleyball team will be participating in the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018.
Lanka Lions defeated Long Power Volleyball Club 3-0 in the 7th place play-off..
Sri Lanka Men’s Volleyball will be participating in the Asian Games after 52 years, the last time they did was back in 1966 as Ceylon – known back then. The team was in Pool B alongside Japan, Iran and Republic of China. Sri Lanka lost all their pool matches but defeated Malaysia 3-0 to finish 11th out of 12 participants.
A 14-athlete member squad was selected to represent Sri Lanka in the Asian Games where volleyball would start on 20th August.
This year Sri Lanka has done well under the guidance of new Head Coach Dejan Vulicevic. Sri Lanka participated in the 2018 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship as ‘Lanka Lions’ and finished a heartening 7th place and gained much confidence and experience. Sri Lanka won 5 and lost 2 in the tournament.
The same squad that went to Club Championship was selected with the captain being Chamara Mihiran from Army SC.
Speaking to ThePapare.com Chamara Mihiran expressed his thoughts on the new coach;
“We train in new ways under our foreign coach. He has taught us tactics that none of the previous coaches has taught us and we have trained hard focusing for the upcoming tournament.
“We are going to the Asian Games as preparations for the 1st Asian Men’s Volleyball Challenge Cup to be held in Colombo. With the experience in the Asian games we will look to win the tournament.”
Sri Lanka are drawn in Pool E which comprises of heavyweights China, Thailand and Vietnam. China and Thailand are ranked 20th & 41st respectively while Vietnam are in 78th place alongside Sri Lanka.
Though the team is drawn in a tough group they are hopeful of making an impact and gaining much needed experience for the upcoming 1st Asian Men’s Volleyball Challenge Cup 2018, which will be held in September in Sri Lanka.
Coach Dejan Vulicevic spoke to ThePapare.com expressing his feelings about the team;
“I am amazed by the talent there is in Sri Lanka. To be honest I never expected to find this much of talent here, especially in terms of fitness and discipline. It very easy to coach such teams.
“We have experimented a little with our squad, nothing huge. It’s easy to change around and adapt because of the young squad we have. The other teams can be better than us, but we’ve got to show that we’re better. We are preparing to compete with good performances.”
Sri Lanka Squad
Chamara Mihiran © (Army SC) – Deepthi Romesh (vc) (CEB) – Gayan Madushanka (CEB) – Lasindu Methmal Wasanthapriya (Sri Lanka Ports Authority) – Janitha Surath (Sri Lanka Ports Authority) – Malith Dinidu Chamara (Katana United) – Shamil Malinda Silva (Army SC) – Ayesh Dilhan Perera (CEB) – Wasantha Lakmal (Army SC) – Kasun Chathuranga Fernando (CEB) – Danushka Dilshan Fernando (Air Force SC) – Sehan Vimukthi Sagara (Sri Lanka Ports Authority) – A.W. Lakmal (CEB) – Pramesh Prasanna Sudasingha (Air Force SC)
Head Coach – Dejan Vulicevic
Assistant Coach – Charles Thilakarathne
Assistant Coach – Nalin Sampath Abeysinghe
Manager – Chiththadhamma Rathnamudali
Fixtures (Pool E)
20th August – Thailand v Sri Lanka – 2.00pm (SL Time)
23rd August – Sri Lanka v Vietnam – 6.00pm (SL Time)
25th August – Sri Lanka v China – 11.30am (SL Time)