THAILAND, AUSTRALIA SECURE SEMI-FINAL BERTHS AT PRINCESS CUP
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, May 14, 2018 – Hosts Thailand proved too strong for Malaysia to thrash the less-ranked rivals in convincing straight sets and advance to the semi-finals of the “Princess Cup” 20th Est Cola South East Asian Women’s U17 Volleyball Championship at the Nakhon Pathom Sports Centre Gymnasium on Monday.
In-form Thailand, in their final preparation for the next week’s 12th Asian Women’s U17 Championship at the same competition venue from May 20 to 27, pulled off a convincing 25-8 25-22 25-12 victory over Malaysia to next take on Australia in their final preliminary Pool A match on Tuesday.
“I am quite satisfied with my team’s performance. The key players performed well. Today I just tried to allow all players their chances to play and see how their mental strength is. We may have some mistakes on serving. This team is a new group playing an international competition for the first time.
We have been training together since December,” Thaialnd head coach Chamnan Dokmai said after the match.
“I think India should be our toughest opponents in this tournament because they have tall players with good volleyball skills,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Australians, who downed Malaysia 3-1 (25-22 27-29 25-19 25-16) in their opening encounter on Monday, had a rest day on Tuesday as they were due to play Uzbekistan, which withdrew from the tournament a few days ahead of the official start on May 13.
With only three teams contesting Pool A, both Thailand and Australia have already booked their berths in the semi-finals. The Tuesday’s match between them will decide the pool winners, with the winning team next take on the Pool B second place and the losers playing the Pool B winners in the Wednesday’s semi-finals.
In Pool B, New Zealand struggled to beat Singapore in closely-contested four sets 22-25 25-13 25-23 28-26, while India, outclassing Singapore 3-0 the previous day, remained unbeaten following their scintillating 25-15 25-18 25-19 win over Kazakhstan on Monday. The Kazakh side claimed their first victory on Sunday, brushing off New Zealand in straight sets.
With two wins in a row, India have already made it to the semi-finals. They are due to take on New Zealand on Tuesday in their final preliminary match, while Kazakhstan will play Singapore in a must-win match to enhance their chances of making the cut for the semi-finals.
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