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Thailand's Supreme Chonburi win VTV International

The Thai team celebrate after their victory
 Ha Nam, Vietnam, October 16, 2016 – Supreme Chonburi E-Tech retained the title for Thailand at the 2016 VTV Cup International Women’s Volleyball Tournament following an exceptional straight-sets (25-20, 25-18, 25-10) victory over hosts Vietnam in the 68-minute final at the Ha Nam Gymnasium on Saturday.

Thailand captured the maiden victory in the 2015 VTV CUP in Bac Lieu, where the Thailand national U23 team, led by talented Ajcharaporn Kongyot, reigned supreme after a dramatic 3-1 win over China’s Liaoning VC in the final.

The 2016 edition was held from October 8 to 15 in Ha Nam, where the Asian Women’s Club Championship took place last year and Bangkok Glass from Thailand were eventually crowned the champions. This year, the 13th VTV Cup attracted a total of six teams to vie for top honour. Vietnam, China U17, China’s Xu Zhou, Japan’s Chinzei Gakuin High School, Indonesia and Thailand’s Supreme Chonburi E-Tech contested the single round-robin preliminaries. Only the top four teams qualified for the semifinals, with the top team taking on the fourth-place team and the second position playing the third place.

At completion of the round-robin preliminaries on October 12, Supreme Chonburi E-Tech proved too strong for all challengers to top the six-team standings with a remarkable unbeaten record. The Thai team did not lose a set to make a perfect sweep of five victories and 15 points in the preliminaries, followed by Vietnam with 12 points from four wins against one loss.

China U17 came in third place overall with eight points from three wins against two losses, while Indonesia finished fourth with seven points from two wins against three losses. Japan’s Chinzei Gakuin High School were placed fifth place with two points from one win against four losses, with China’s Xu Zhou at the bottom with one point from five straight losses.

In the semi-finals on October 14, Supreme Chonburi E-Tech remained in awesome form to send Indonesia packing with a convincing 25-18, 25-18, 25-22 victory, while the other semi-final encounter saw Vietnam down China U17 in a one-sided battle, 25-13, 25-18, 25-9.

On the final day on Saturday, over 5,000 home spectators thronged into the Ha Nam Gymnasium.

Supreme Chonburi E-Tech fielded a strong line-up led by four Thailand national team players: Wilavan Apinyapong, Ajcharaporn Kongyot, setter Soraya Promla and libero Piyanut Pannoy. Senegal’s Diouck Fatou Niane and American Mann Geneva Chloe also strengthened the Thai side. The 190cm-tall Tran Thi Thanh Thuy spearheaded the host side, which also included Pham Thi Kim Hue, Doan Thi Xuan, Nguyen Linh Chi and Ha Ngoc Diem.

With a large crowd of home fans cheering them all the way, Vietnam mounted a strong challenge against Supreme Chonburi E-Tech in the hard-fought first set. Tran Thi Thanh Thuy used her height advantage to attack aggressively to help Vietnam match the formidable visitors in a hotly contested set. Ace spiker Ajcharaporn showed her prowess as she methodically tore the Vietnamese defence to shreds with her powerful mid-court attacks to hand Supreme Chonburi E-Tech the first set 25-20.

Going down one set, Vietnam tried to make amends in the second set, but the Thai team proved much stronger defensively and offensively which saw the set end 25-18 in favour of Supreme Chonburi E-Tech.

The third set turned out to be a totally lop-sided contest as the visitors overwhelmed the off-form hosts to comfortably capture the set 25-10 and with it the title.

Ajcharaporn Kongyot scored a match-high 23 points for Supreme Chonburi E-Tech including 18 kills from 34 attempts and four ace serves. Tran Thi Thanh Thuy led Vietnam with 8 points.

Earlier, Indonesia, led by the powerful Manganang April Santini, thrashed China U17 in straight sets (25-16, 25-19, 25-15) in the third-place playoff to pick up the bronze medal, while Japan’s Chinzei Gakuin High School powered past China’s Xu Zhou 25-16, 25-21, 25-21 to finish fifth.

Saturday, October 15, 2016
5th-6th Playoff: Chinzei Gakuin High School (Japan) b Xu Zhou (China) 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-21)
Bronze-medal match: Indonesia b China U17 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-15)
Championship match: Supreme Chonburi E-Tech (Thailand) b Vietnam 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-10)

1. Supreme Chonburi E-Tech (Thailand)
2. Vietnam
3. Indonesia
4. China U17
5. Chinzei Gakuin High School (Japan)
6. Xu Zhou (China)

Best Setter: Soraya Promla (Supreme Chonburi E-Tech)
Best Libero: Nguyen Thi Kim Lien (Vietnam)
Best Outside Spikers
1. Tran Thi Thanh Thuy (Vietnam)
2. Wilavan Apinyapong (Supreme Chonburi E-Tech)
Best Middle Blocker: Diouck Fatou Niane (Supreme Chonburi E-Tech)
Best Opposite Spikers
1. Mann Genevie Chloe (Supreme Chonburi E-Tech)
2. Le Thanh Thuy (Vietnam)
Miss Volleyball: Salsabil Anandita Ayu (Indonesia)
MVP: Manganang Aprilia Santini (Indonesia)


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