Photos courtesy of Thailand Volleyball Association
Bangkok, Thailand, April 2, 2021 – Clean sweeps of hot-favourites Diamond Food VC and Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC in both men’s and women’s events highlighted the opening day of the Daikin Volleyball Thailand League at The Mall Bangkapi’s MCC Hall on Friday.
Top four teams at the end of the second leg of the Thailand’s top-flight professional volleyball league kicked off their Final Four campaign on Friday, with second leg winners Diamond Food, title-holders Nakhon Ratchasima, Phitsanulok VC and Prince VC challenging one another for the eventual title in the men’s category. The women’s event features second leg winners Diamond Food, Nakhon Ratchasima, defending champions Supreme Chonburi E-Tech and 3BB Nakornnont.
Each participating team in the Final Four has to play the other three rivals twice in the round-robin contest, with the first meet being held between April 2 and 4 and the second one from April 9 to 11. At the conclusion of six matches of each team on April 11, their accumulated points earned will be counted and the team with the most wins and highest points in the men’s and women’s events will be crowned the 2020-2021 VTL champions.
In the women’s event, former four-time winners Nakhon Ratchasima, powered by tall and powerful Yeliz Basa and sensation Chutchu-on Moksri, pulled off a stunning 25-23, 25-20, 25-20 win against reigning and three-time champions Supreme.
Going down in the first two sets, Supreme, which performed brilliantly to capture the Asian Women’s Club title for two times in a row in 2017 and 2018, still found it tough going as they fell behind 14-23. At the last-ditch attempt, Supreme, strong with the likes of hard-attacking Ajcharaporn Kongyot, Wipawee Srithong and Pleumjit Thinkaow, regained their composure to score six points in a row and narrow the margin 20-23.
However, Nakhon Ratchasima came up with two scintillating blocks to end the tough rivals’ determined challenge, with the 184cm-tall Chitaporn Kamlangmark blocking a fierce spike from Indonesian Megawati Hangestri Pertiwi to hand Nakhon Ratchasima the last point for the team’s 25-23 win in the set and match.
Yeliz Basa proved a major force for Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC as she scored a match-high 27 points, while Ajcharaporn Kongyot led Supreme Chonburi E-Tech with 18 points.
Earlier, star-studded Diamond Food, fielding a formidable lineup including highly-experienced setter Nootsara Tomkom, ace spikers Onuma Sittirak and Thanatcha Suksod and fast attacker Amphon Hyapha, breezed past 3BB Nakornnont, competing without two key players Pimpichaya Kokrum and Kattika Kaewpin, in comfortable straight sets 25-13, 25-16, 25-18.
Onuma Sittirak chipped in with 13 points for Diamond Food VC, while Sasipaporn Chanthawisoot added 9 points.
On Saturday, April 3, Diamond Food set up a tough clash with Supreme, while Nakhon Ratchasima take on 3BB Nakornnont.
Diamond Food also made their mark in the men’s event. Fielding talented players including Kittikun Sriutthawong, Kantapat Koonmee and two Brazilians Luiz Perotto and Andre Luiz Queiroz Franca, Diamond Food got their Final Four campaign off to a great start with a convincing 25-19, 26-24, 25-20 victory over Prince VC.
Kantapat Koonmee emerged as the Diamond Food’s top scorer with 14 points, while Kittikun Sriutthawong added 10 points.
Defending and six-time champions Nakhon Ratchasima also did not let their fans cheering them inside the competition venue down with their superb performance following their 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-22) demolition of Phitsanulok VC.
Veteran Wanchai Tabwises scored 22 points for Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC, while Amornthep Konharn collected 15 points for Phitsanulok VC.
Nakhon Ratchasima will next face Prince VC on Saturday, while Phitsanulok VC will go up against Diamond Food VC the same day.
Diamond Food VC b Prince VC 3-0 (25-19, 26-24, 25-20)
Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC b Phitsanulok VC 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-22)
Diamond Food VC b 3BB Nakornnont 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-18)
Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC b Supreme Chonburi E-Tech (25-23, 25-20, 25-20)
Saturday, April 3, 2021
Prince VC v Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC
Diamond Food VC v Phitsanulok VC
Supreme Chonburi E-Tech v Diamond Food VC
Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC v 3BB Nakornnont
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