Samsung Fire advanced to the semifinals of the 2023 Gumi Dodram Cup Professional Volleyball Tournament (the Cup) as the runner-up in their group after a hard-fought full-set loss to Japanese invitee Panasonic.

Samsung Fireworks fell to Panasonic 2-3 (17-25 19-25 30-28 25-23 13-15) in the third match of the men’s Group B preliminary round of the Cup at Park Jung-hee Gymnasium in Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do, on Nov. 11.

Samsung Fire, who finished second in Group B with a 2-1 record, will play the semifinals against Group A champion Korean Air at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 12.

Group A runner-up OK Financial Group will face Group B leader Panasonic at 4 p.m. the same day for a ticket to the finals.

Panasonic, who finished third in the 2022-2023 Japan V-League, pushed Samsung Fire early in the match with strong serves and a stifling defense.

In the first set, Samsung Fire made a series of errors as their reception was shaken by Panasonic’s brilliant serve.

With nine team errors in the first set alone, Samsung Fire easily took the first set.

The second set was similar. Samsung Fire used a strong serve game plan to break down their opponent’s solid defense, but it didn’t work.

Instead, the team’s mood sank as Kim Jun-woo, Shin Shin-ho, and Park Sung-jin dropped their serves at 12-14, 13-15, and 14-17, respectively.

Samsung Fire made eight service errors in the second set alone and lost 19-25.

The third set followed a similar pattern. The opponent’s strong serve and tight organization kept them in the game.

However, Samsung Chemical managed to make it a deuce at 22-24 thanks to back-to-back kills from Shin Shin-ho.

After five deuce wins in total, Samsung Fire took the third set.

Park Sung-jin calmly attacked at 28-28 and then directly blocked an attack from Takahiko Imamura to end the third set.

Samsung Fire continued the momentum in the fourth set. At 7-3, middle blocker Hong Min-ki injured his left knee while receiving and had to leave, but it didn’t stop the flow.

At 23-22, Kim Jung-ho scored a follow-up attack, and at 24-23, Kim Jun-woo slammed a fastball into the opposite court. 메이저놀이터

After battling to a full set, Samsung Fireworks went down on its knees in the fifth set.

At 13-13, they gave up back-to-back attacks. Samsung Chemical requested a video review of Panasonic’s double contact during the final point, but the call was not overturned and the match ended as it did.

Park Sung-jin led the way with 22 points and Shin Shin-ho finished with 20.

Earlier in the day, Hyundai Capital defeated KEPCO in straight sets 3-1 (25-20 18-25 25-22 25-22) to finish the tournament in third place in Group B with a 1-2 record.

KEPCO, who lost all three matches, finished last in the group.