AIR FORCE RECLAIM THAILAND LEAGUE TITLE, NAKHON RATCHASIMA STUN DEFENDING CHAMPS SUPREME TO CAPTURE WOMEN’S CROWN

AIR FORCE RECLAIM THAILAND LEAGUE TITLE, NAKHON RATCHASIMA STUN DEFENDING CHAMPS SUPREME TO CAPTURE WOMEN’S CROWN

Bangkok, Thailand, March 17, 2019 – Air Force VC reclaimed the men’s title and Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall VC captured the women’s crown as the curtain of the 2018-2019 Thailand League Volleyball Tournament came down on Sunday at the packed MCC Hall, The Mall Bangkapi here.

Air Force will represent Thailand in the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship in Taipei, Chinese Taipei from April 18 to 26, while Generali Supreme, despite a second-place finish to eventual champions Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall VC, received the green light from the Thailand Volleyball Association earlier to prove their talents at the 2019 Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship in Tianjin, China from coming April 27 to May 5.

In the women’s event, Nakhon Ratchasima were invincible as they went through the entire season unbeaten, claiming the Thailand League title for four times as they had already won it in 2006, 2007, 2014 and now 2019.

Nakhon Ratchasima overpowered Generali Supreme, defending and successive two-time champions in three major competitions including the Thailand League, Thai-Denmark Super League and Asian Women’s Club Championship, in hard-fought three-set thriller 25-23 25-20 26-24 in the Sunday’s action-packed showdown.

Both teams fielded highly-experienced players, with Nakhon Ratchasima being represented by star spiker Onuma Sittirak, highly-skilled setter Nootsara Tomkom, two hard-attackers Malika Kanthong and Amporn Hyapha and two overseas imports, Japanese Mai Okumura and Turkish Yeliz Basa.

Supreme also fielded strong players led by super star spiker Pleumjit Thinkaow, while other talented players including Wilavan Apinyapong, Atcharaporn Kongyot and two imports, Kenyan Mercy Moim and Chinese Wang Na also strengthened the team.

Nakhon Ratchasima remained in dazzling form, with Yeliz Basa’s brilliant individual display guiding the star-studded side to victory over the spirited Supreme.

The third-place playoff saw 3BB Nakornnont down Thai-Denmark Khonkaen Star VC in dramatic four sets 25-21 14-25 25-20 25-20.

In the men’s event, Air Force defied the odds to stun red-hot favourites Diamond Food Saraburi 3-1 (25-22 17-25 25-16 25-18) in the Sunday’s showdown. Saraburi had been regarded as the strongest team in this season, losing only one 1-3 match to Rajamangala Lanna Phitsanulok VC in their home-and-way, round-robin two-leg competition.

Against Air Force in the showdown, Saraburi fielded strong players led by ace spikers Jirayu Raksakaew and Kittikhun Sriutthawong, while adding power to the team were Theerasak Nakprasong and two overseas imports, Taiwanese twins, Liu Hong-Min and Liu Hong-Jie. However, Air Force were also strong with the likes of gifted Mawin Maneewong, Kissada Nilsawai and Kantapat Koonme and strengthened by two imports, Roman Shirov from Kyrgyzstan and Sri Lankan Janita Surath.

The Air Force’s dramatic 3-1 win over Diamond Food Saraburi was a sweet revenge for their 1-3 and 2-3 losses in the first two matches they had met in the two-leg competition.

Visakha finished third place following their 3-1 (25-21 25-20 21-25 25-15) win over title-holders Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall VC.

 

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