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Thailand stun DPR Korea to set up final showdown with hosts Vietnam in VTV Cup

Young Thai players celebrate their victory at the VTV Cup International Women's Volleyball Tournament in Bac Ninh, Vietnam
Bac Ninh, Vietnam, May 23, 2014 – The formidable Thailand squad, which lost to DPR Korea 3-1 in their last single round-robin preliminaries two days ago, stunned the same rivals in straight sets (25-20, 25-22, 25-17) in the semifinal of the VTV Cup International Women's Volleyball Tournament at the Bac Ninh Gymnasium on Friday.

Thailand recovered from its previous setback and produced a convincing win over the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games fourth-ranked team. In the other semifinal match, Vietnam thrashed Kazakhstan in straight sets (25-17, 25-20, 25-14). Vietnam showed top form against Kazakhstan in their second encounter – the Vietnamese also won the preliminaries against the Kazakhs.

Thailand captain Pornpun Guedpard is confident about her team’s prospect in the final match against Vietnam.

“I am confident that we can beat Vientam,” said Guedpard. “We played them before and have proven that we’re stronger. My team-mates have understood the system we have been playing. However, we have to play more carefully in that tough match against Vietnam. We are playing the hosts and they have a large number of fans who will cheer for them all the way.”

Earlier, Yunnan from China repeatedly beat Australia 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-19) in the fifth-place playoff. The frail Australians who failed to win a single match in the tournament will return home in sixth place, while China’s Yunnan finished in fifth position.

Thailand fielded its young and promising players, including Thatdao Nuekjang, Ajcharaporn Kongyot, Jarasporn Bundasak and setter Pornpun Guedpard – also part of the senior national team.

Thailand's best-ever performance in this meet was in 2010 when they finished third place overall. Last year, Thailand sent a young team to finish in sixth place. Hosts Vietnam have already clinched three titles in this tournament in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Last year, they finished second to China's Jiangsu. 


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