Photos courtesy of Thailand Volleyball Association
Bangkok, Thailand, March 28, 2021 – The Final Four teams have been confirmed in the 2020-2021 Daikin Volleyball Thailand League at The Mall Bangkapi’s MCC Hall, as Dimond Food VC swept both men’s and women’s second-leg titles with remarkable unbeaten records.
The second leg started on March 6 and ended on March 28, with six teams apiece in the men’s and women’s events taking part in the single round-robin competition. At the end of the second leg, only top four teams in both categories advanced to the Final Four round.
Hot-favourites Diamond Food VC, first-leg winners and reigning champions Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC, Phitsanulok VC and Prince VC all qualified for the men’s Final Four, with 3BB Nakornnont joining title-holders Supreme Chonburi E-Tech, Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC and Diamond Food VC in the women’s Final Four.
Two unbeaten teams, Nakhon Ratchasima and Diamond Food, met on Sunday in their last encounter to vie for the second-leg top honour.
As Diamond Food came out in full strength with the likes of highly-experienced setter Nootsara Tomkom, ace spiker Onuma Sittirak, Amphon Hyapha and Malika Kanthong, Nakhon Ratchasima relied on their two key players, sensation Chutchu-on Moksri and Turkish Yeliz Basa.
The Diamond Food’s resilience was showcased through spectacular attacks, solid blocking and excellent teamwork, while Nakhon Ratchasima’s unforced mistakes in critical moments and their inconsistent form cost them dear. Diamond Food powered past the former four-time champions in entertaining four-setter 27-25, 25-14, 23-25, 25-16.
Earlier on Saturday, former consecutive two-time Asian Women’s Club champions Supreme Chonburi E-Tech combined extreme power through powerful attacks from Ajcharaporn Kongyot and Pleumjit Thinkaow with effective blocking to see off 3BB Nakornnont in four sets 25-14, 22-25, 25-12, 25-12.
Khonkaen Star VC survived scares to beat fast-improving Proflex VC in hard-fought five sets 26-28, 25-15, 20-25, 25-19, 15-12.
Diamond Food topped the women’s standings with 15 points from five straight wins to claim the second-leg title, followed by Nakhon Ratchasima with 12 points from four wins against one loss. Former three-time champions Supreme finished third with 9 points from three wins against two losses, while 3BB Nakornnont, Khonkaen and Proflex were placed fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Khonkaen and Proflex missed the cut for the Final Four round.
Meanwhile, in the men’s competition, defending and six-time winners Nakhon Ratchasima on Saturday fielded a strong lineup including Jakkrit Chandahuadong, Sri Lankan Janitha Surath and Kittipong Suksala to brush off Mor Asia Koh Kood Cabana in comfortable straight sets 25-21, 25-17, 25-15.
On Sunday, Phitsanulok, with Thailand national team left-hander Amornthep Konhan at the helm, came back from the first set down to beat Prince VC in dramatic four sets 17-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-22.
In-form Diamond Food VC, powered by ace spiker Jirayu Raksakaew, Kantapat Koonme and two Brazilians Luiz Perotto and Andre Luiz Queiroz Franca, continued their unbeaten streak to beat error-strewn Air Force VC in straight sets 25-16, 25-23, 25-18.
At the end of the second leg on Sunday, Diamond Food captured the top spot with 14 points from five consecutive wins, while Nakhon Ratchasima collected 12 points from four wins against one loss. Phitsanulok came third with 9 points from three wins against two losses, while Prince VC, Air Force and Mor Asia Koh Kood Cabana finished fourth, fifth and sixth places respectively.
In the Final Four round to be held at the same competition venue, each team in both men’s and women’s categories will play each of their rivals twice in the round-robin format. Every team will compete in the first meet from April 2 to 4, followed by the second one from April 9 to 11 before each team’s accumulated points will be brought for consideration. The only team with the highest points in each category will be crowned the VTL champions.
Saturday, March 27
Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC b Mor Asia Koh Kood Cabana 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-15)
Sunday, March 28
Phitsanulok VC b Prince VC 3-1 (17-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-22)
Diamond Food VC b Air Force VC 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-18)
Saturday, March 27
Supreme Chonburi E-Tech b 3BB Nakornnont 3-1 (25-14, 22-25, 25-12, 25-12)
Khonkaen Star VC b Proflex VC 3-2 (26-28, 25-15, 20-25, 25-19, 15-12)
Sunday, March 28
Diamond Food VC b Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC 3-1 (27-25, 25-14, 23-25, 25-16)
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