Bangkok, Thailand, August 14, 2009 - Thailand, cheered on lustily by a large crowd of home fans, registered their first victory in Pool I with a sensational straight-sets 27-25 30-28 25-13 victory over Puerto Rico.
Thailand started aggressively with the hard-hitting Onuma Sittirak delighting home fans of more than 2,000 inside the Keelawes 1 Gymnasium with her terrific jump serves and powerful mid-court spikes. However, gallant Puerto Rico played cool under pressure. They silenced the cheering Thai fans with some outstanding play while Sarai Alvarez unleashed a barrage of fierce spikes to put Puerto Rico in front 12-10.
The Thai players maintained their poise and hit back bravely with devastating cross-court spikes from Onuma and Wilavan Apinyapong and effective drops from Pleumjit Thinkaow. With the score tied at 20-20, Thailand edged ahead 24-23. Still, Puerto Rico maintained their never-say-die attiutude. They counter-attacked well to tie the set at 24-24 and again at 25-25. However, Thailand eventually triumphed courtesy of two straight points to take the hard-fought first set 27-25.
After conceding the first set, Puerto Rico pulled their game together again to come up with further improved form. At 15-12 ahead, the visitors were good for their lead with an improved defence, giving Thailand anxious times. However, Thailand eventually clawed its way back, and with both sides taking turns to lead, Thailand played more consistently to eventually take the hotly-contested second set 30-28.
Two sets down, Puerto Rico couldn't maintain the same form as the previous two sets and the third set became a one-sided battle which the Thai players led from the beginning to wrap up the comfortable set 25-13 and the match.