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Thailand and Vietnam do it again to advance to SEA Games women’s final

Thailand’s Wilavan Apinyapong and Nootsara Tomkom celebrate during their game against the Philippines
Manila, Philippines, December 5, 2019 – Both Thailand and Vietnam repeated their victorious results from the first competition day of the women’s volleyball tournament at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, as they defeated the Philippines and Indonesia, respectively, on Thursday to secure their spots in Monday’s gold medal match.

Led by their popular captain Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, the Vietnamese snatched another thrilling five-set victory. Twice in their duel with Indonesia, they came back from a set down to emerge from this rollercoaster game with a 3-2 (20-25, (25-14, 19-25, 25-18, 15-6) win.

Experienced Wilavan Apinyapong and captain Nootsara Tomkom once again steered Thailand to a straight-set victory, 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 34-32) over hosts the Philippines, but the third set was a nail-biting thriller. The home team denied the Thais the five match points they had at 24-19 to reach a set point of their own after a series of six winning rallies in a row and push the set deep into overtime, before Apinyapong finally closed it off at 34-32.

Despite the loss, the Philippines’ most popular star Alyssa Valdez seemed upbeat by the way her team performed and expressed it by sharing a positive post on Facebook… 

“The battle continues,” her teammate Mary Joy Baron posted on Instagram. “With faith, there's nothing difficult in life that we couldn't overcome,” Filipino captain Abigail Marano added to the positive mood and thanked the home fans for the incredible support from the stands at the PhilSports Arena in Manila.

Thai stars Pleumjit Thinkaow, Onuma Sittirak and Wilavan Apinyapong were also excited about the pledging ceremony that was conducted on the day off to welcome new members to the volleyball family of Thailand.

Despite having an important match on Thursday, Sittirak and Thinkaow did not forget to mark Thailand’s Fathers Day on their social media profiles.

The single round-robin stage of the tournament ends on Saturday with Thailand and Vietnam facing each other in an attempt to stay undefeated, while Indonesia and the Philippines battle it out for their first victory.

In Pool A of the men’s volleyball tournament, Myanmar mastered a 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-18) win over Singapore to set up a de facto final for the first place in the pool as they meet Thailand on Friday. Both Myanmar and Thailand advance to the semifinals. In Pool B, the Philippines and Indonesia achieved their second straight-set victories, 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-12) over Vietnam and 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 35-33) over Cambodia, respectively, to secure their spots in the semis as well.

Indonesia and Thailand will lock horns for the men’s beach volleyball gold as they meet in Friday’s final. On Thursday, they won their semifinal ties against Singapore and the Philippines, respectively, without losing any sets. Thailand and Indonesia also dominate the women’s event on the sand. In Thursday’s direct encounter with each other in the ladies’ round-robin tournament, the Thais lost the first rubber to the Indonesians, but went on to win the next two to claim the deciding tie by two victories to one and stay undefeated in all five ties played, thus triumphing with gold.

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


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