Việt Nam secure second place at SEA V-League

Thailand are currently world No 15 and consecutive 14-time Southeast Asian (SEA) Games champions. They also won the first leg last week in Vĩnh Phúc Province of Việt Nam.


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Việt Nam players celebrate after scoring a point during a match against Thailand in the SEA V.League’s second leg on August 13 in Chiangmai. Photo of AVC

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam finished second in the SEA V-League’s second leg which ended on August 13 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Playing without some of their strongest players who were at home to prepare for the international VTV Cup Ferroli, Việt Nam still met no difficulties to beat Indonesia and the Philippines in the first two matches of the third four-side tournament.

However, host Thailand in their last match proved too much at the packed 3,000-seater gymnasium inside the Chiang Mai 700th Anniversary Sports Complex.

Thailand are currently world No 15 and consecutive 14-time Southeast Asian (SEA) Games champions. They also won the first leg last week in Vĩnh Phúc Province of Việt Nam.

Thailand remained strong offensively with the likes of Chatchu-on Moksri, Pimpichaya Kokram, Thatdao Nuekjang and hard-hitting Sasipapron Janthawisut all performing well in the first set.

Việt Nam also fielded their strongest line-up with Vi Thị Như Quỳnh, Đoàn Thị Xuân and Trần Thị Bích Thủy at the helm.

Boosted by crazy home fans, Thailand exploited their excellent teamwork with combination attacks from Chatchu-on and Sasipapron, terrific jump serves by Sasipapron and Jarasporn Bundasak’s solid blocks for the 25-15 lead in the comfortable first set.

Việt Nam, which captured the 2023 Asian Women’s Club title under the Sport Centre 1’s banner to their name, proved that victory never comes easily.

Thailand’s line-up remained unchanged in the second set, with Chatchu-on and Sasipapron leading the team’s offence. The star-studded team got off to a flying start to capture the commanding seven-point lead at 14-7 and went on their fine form to extend it to 24-19, needing only one more point to take the set.

However, the Vietnamese fought back hard to save four set points to narrow the margin at 23-24 including Thủy’s thundering fast spike and Quỳnh’s exceptional back-row attack. Sasipapron saved the day for Thailand as she hammered a kill to help the team win the hard-fought set 25-23.

Both sides played neck and neck from the beginning of the third set which saw neither side lead with a more than two-point gap. Leading narrowly 14-13, Thailand found their touch a moment later to score three points on the trot to stretch it to 17-13 before Việt Nam clawed their way back to catch them at 22-22.

However, their strong fightback was short-lived as Thailand shone through their brilliance with a spectacular series of three consecutive points for the set win 25-22.

Thailand topped the standing with nine points, followed by Việt Nam with six.

Indonesia secured the third place with one win against two losses, with winless Philippines in fourth position.

Theo Vietnamnews