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Wilavan, Ajcharaporn, Pimpichaya help Thailand stay unbeaten at SEA Games

Thailand’s Pimpichaya, Ajcharaporn and Pornpun celebrate during the match with Vietnam (Photo: volleyball.or.th)
Manila, Philippines, December 7, 2019 – Once again, the well-seasoned Wilavan Apinyapong proved to be a great source of success for the women’s national volleyball team of Thailand as she led the squad to their third consecutive victory at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games – 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-15) over Vietnam, who suffered their first defeat of the tournament. Both sides had already secured their spots in Monday’s final and will meet again, this time in a direct battle for the gold.

Younger Thai players were given a chance to shine and 24-year-old outside spiker Ajcharaporn Kongyot took advantage of it.

So did 21-year-old opposite Pimpichaya Kokram and gave her solid contribution to the win.

The hugely popular 36-year-old middle blocker Pleumjit Thinkaow did not mind standing in the substitutions corner again for most of the match, but she did come in during the set to get a feel of the court ahead of the big game on Monday.

Thai captain Nootsara Tomkom was also off the court for this match, but the 34-year-old setter received a huge credit from her Filipino counterpart Julia Morado after the two went face to face in the previous game on Thursday. The 24-year-old playmaker of Philippines posted a moving message on her Instagram profile.

In the other game on Saturday’s program, Indonesia snatched their first victory in Manila, a 3-1 (22-25, 28-26, 25-22, 25-14) comeback against Philippines. The home team have yet to earn their first win at the SEA Games, but Filipino stars Alyssa Valdez, Mika Reyes, Madeleine Madayag and the rest of their teammates are still enjoying the tournament and hoping to battle it out for the bronze as they face the Indonesians again in the third-place match on Monday.

In the men’s competition, Thailand crafted a 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-13) victory over Myanmar on Friday to top the final standings in Pool A and leave their opponents in second. Indonesia emerged as Pool B winners after claiming a 3-0 (25-23, 32-30, 25-20) win over Philippines. The home team finished pool runners-up to face Thailand in one of Sunday’s semifinals. In the other, Myanmar will challenge Indonesia.

Indonesia won the men’s beach volleyball title after winning both rubbers of the gold medal tie with Thailand in straight sets. The bronze went to Philippines, who did the same against Singapore in their encounter for the third place. On the women’s side, where a round-robin tournament was held, the same three nations occupied the podium, but the Thai national team stayed unbeaten to snatch the gold, while Indonesia and Philippines settled for silver and bronze, respectively.

Follow the competition on the Philippines 2019 Southeast Asian Games website.

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