Third-ranked Surabaya Samator upset the season's surprise team Palembang Bank Sumsel 25-21, 25-23, 18-25, 25-21 in their match Sunday in the men's division of the 2009 Proliga Indoor Volleyball National Championship.
Samator, which has never lost at this event, stamped out Bank Sumsel's dark horse reputation.
Bank Sumsel, motored by top player Koko Prasetyo Darkuncoro, displayed a strong determination to get the best of Samator in the first two sets of the match.
However, poor teamwork on the part of Bank Sumsel gifted Samator a 25-21, 25-23 lead after the opening sets.
The third set saw Bank Sumsel dust itself off to take the set 25-18. But Samator took back the momentum and the fourth set 25-23 to finish off the game.
"I'm glad we could round up the game, despite losing the third set as a result of taking them lightly," team assistant manager Hadi Sampurno said after the match.
However, team captain Didi Irawadi said, "Bank Sumsel has potential, which could secure it a spot in the final four."
Defeated Bank Sumsel praised Samator's better performance.
"It was a tough battle for us. Samator played the game with unpredictable tactics, while we made a lot of blunders, especially on our defense," said coach Gugi Gustaman, citing poor serves and the poor performance of the team's libero.
Gugi added that Bank Sumsel and Samator shared similar traits of being "fast and deadly", which made them strong.
"But *Samator* has more experience than us. They have a winning spirit and know how to control their morale while competing," he said.
In the women's division, underdog Bogor Prayoga upset last year's runner-up Jakarta Electric PLN to win in five sets, 17-25, 25-19, 25-19, 17-25, 15-6.
The Rp 1 billion (US$88,000) Proliga competition will continue in Gresik, East Java, from Friday to Sunday for the fourth leg of the first round.