Ardabil, Iran, May 7, 2017 – In-form Thailand earned a semi-final berth after demolishing Pakistan in straight sets 25-22, 25-18, 25-17 in the Asian Men’s U23 Volleyball Championship at the 6,000-seater Rezazadeh Indoor Stadium on Sunday.
Despite a sluggish start, formidable Thailand gradually pulled their game together to easily beat their opponents in comfortable straight sets.
Taking the first two sets 25-22 and 25-18, Thailand had a good court rotation as new faces were dispatched to the court and proved their talents by handing Pakistan the bitter 17-25 loss in the third set. Thailand, holding a 4-1 win/loss record en route to the semi-finals, suffered only one 2-3 loss to Japan in their opening match on May 2.
After the match between Thailand and Pakistan, a birthday cake with the length of 1.70cm was brought into the competition court for five players who were born in this month. They comprised Wee Jaye Teoh (Malaysia), Dilhan Perera Ayesh (Sri Lanka), Silva Harshaka (Sri Lanka), Bulat Kadryaev (Uzbekistan) and Muhammad Waseem (Pakistan). Over 6,000 fans who were looking forward to the match between Iran and Kazakhstan sang a happy birthday song for them.
“The Pakistan’s players were good enough at their attacks and blocks, fortunately we played better and won this match,” said Thailand’s head coach Monchai Supajirakul.
In the Thailand’s semi-final clash, he said, “We probably have to face Iran. I know it would be very tough since the Iranian players are tall and they carry the support of a huge crowd of these passionate fans who can be of big help to their team.”
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