Thailand were led by Malika Kanthong with 16 points, followed by Onuma Sittirak and Wilavan Apinyapong with 15 points each. Cuba's top scorer was Kenia Carcaces with 19 points, while Yanelys Santos had 14. Cuba made 30 errors compared to Thailand's 15.
2011 FIVB Volleyball World Grand
Thailand were cheered on by over 5,300 home spectators, but lacked aggression early on. However, Cuba made serving mistakes, giving up crucial points to the host team. With Kanthong attacking devastatingly at the net, Thailand chased back after trailing 6-11 to catch up with the formidable Caribbean girls at 15-15. Cuba mixed the combination of Santos’ powerful jump serves and the 189-cm Carcaces’s explosive spikes to advance to 22-20 and they took setpoint when an Amporn Hyapha serve went into the net. The hosts scored one more point when Carcaces spiked wide before Cuba clinched the hard-fought first set 25-23.
After conceding the first set, Thailand upped their tempo and counter-attacked well in the second set, with Pleumjit Thinkaow producing lightning-fast spikes at the post. At 9-9, the battle became more thrilling with both sides pouring everything into the mix: solid blocking, powerful jump serves and spectacular spikes. Thailand led at 16-15 and then 20-17 on the back of Sittirak's powerful mid-court spikes. Cuba clawed their way back to come close at 19-21, but the hosts had enough to hold off their rivals. Thailand earned four setpoints and levelled the scores on the second.
The third set was dominated by Thailand, with captain Apinyapong and Kanthong penetrating the Cuban defence with their exceptional spikes. Taking a commanding 14-8 lead, Thailand played well beyond expectation. They led all the way to win the set 25-21.
Surprisingly, the fourth set became a one-sided affair. The host players played every part of the game well. They blocked, spiked and served while every point they won boosted the spirits of the cheering crowd. Thailand won the set 25-13 without much effort and with it the match.