Photos courtesy of Thailand Volleyball Association
Bangkok, Thailand, April 9, 2021 – Clean sweep in both men’s and women’s events of Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC and Diamond Food VC highlighted the opening day of the second-week Finals of the Daikin Volleyball Thailand League 2020-2021 at The Mall Bangkapi’s MCC Hall on Friday.
The second-week encounters of the VTL Finals between April 9 and April 11 are being held behind closed doors again in fears of the COVID-19 pandemic when the number of new cases continues to rise across the country after they visited night entertainment venues in Thong Lor and had links to a new COVID-19 cluster.
Nakhon Ratchasima and Diamond Food opened up with victories in both categories. Nakhon Ratchasima brushed off Phitsanulok VC in comfortable straight sets in the men’s event, but their women’s squad struggled hard to beat Supreme Chonburi E-Tech in hard-fought five-setter. Diamond Food had a field day, with their men’s team cruising to a straight-set triumph over Prince VC and their women’s side outclassing 3BB Nakornnont in easy straight sets.
In the women’s event, former four-time champions Nakhon Ratchasima, led by gifted Chutchu-on Moksri, Turkish Yeliz Basa and Chitaporn Kamlangmak, survived a sturdy challenge from defending and three-time winners Supreme, strengthened by two veterans Pleumjit Thinkaow and Wilavan Apinyapong and hard-attacking Ajcharaporn Kongyot, to capture an entertaining five-set win.
Nakhon Ratchasima, which had already beaten Supreme 3-0 in the first week of the Finals last Friday, got off to a brilliant start with a 25-17 win in the opening set, but succumbed to disappointing losses in the next two sets 16-25, 18-25.
In the fourth set, Nakhon Ratchasima replaced Yeliz Basa with Wanichaya Luangthonglang and she proved a great asset to the team. Nakhon Ratchasima excelled in attacks, with the high-flying Chutchu-on unleashing on several powerful blows to help the team take a commanding 24-14, needing only one more point to wrap up the set.
However, Supreme proved their victory at the Asian Women’s Club Championship for two times in a row was no fluke and they counter-attacked marvellously to save seven consecutive set points before Chutchu-on produced a sharp spike to end the rivals’ challenge in the set. Nakhon Ratchasima took the thrilling set 25-21 to force the decider.
With a blistering run of points under the devastating spikes from Chutchu-on and Chitaporn, Nakhon Ratchasima continued their remarkable run in the deciding set to beat Supreme 15-10 for the eventual 3-2 win.
Chutchu-on Moksri proved a dominant force for Nakhon Ratchasima as she scored a match-high 29 points, while Ajcharaporn Kongyot led Supreme with 20 points.
In the other match, star-studded Diamond Food, which have yet lost a match to their respective rivals in the Final Four, were superior in every department against 3BB Nakornnont, led by promising Pimpichaya Kokrum.
Strong with the likes of highly-experienced setter Nootsara Tomkom, ace spikers Onuma Sittirak, Thanacha Suksod and Amphon Hyapha, Diamond Food on Saturday pulled off a one-sided 25-16, 25-11, 25-21 win against 3BB Nakornnont.
Onuma Sittirak and Hatthaya Bamrungsuk bagged 12 points apiece for Diamond Food, while Pimpichaya Kokrum topscored for 3BB Nakornnont with 13 points.
After four matches in the Final Four, Diamond Food stayed atop the women’s standings with 11 points from 4 wins in a row, followed respectively by Nakhon Ratchasima with 8 points from 3 wins against one loss, Supreme with 5 points from one win against three losses and winless 3BB Nakornnont with no point earned.
In the men’s competition, defending and six-time champions Nakhon Ratchasima continued their unbeaten streak in the round-robin Final Four. Fielding a formidable lineup including Wanchai Tabwises, Sri Lankan Janitha Surath and Pakistani Aimal Khan, Nakhon Ratchasima proved too much for the hapless Phitsanulok VC, steered by left-hander Amorntep Konhan, to power past the lower-ranked rivals in comfortable straight sets 25-16, 25-19, 25-16.
Diamond Food, fielding powerful attackers including Kantapat Koonmee, Kissada Nilsawai and two Brazilians Luiz Perotto and Andre Luiz Queiroz Franca, also stayed on course as they saw off Prince VC in three-setter 25-23, 25-14, 25-15.
Nakhon Ratchasima still led the pack with 12 points from four consecutive victories, while Diamond Food came in second place with 9 points from three wins against one loss. Phitsanulok VC finished third with 2 points from one win against three losses, with winless Prince VC in fourth position with 1 point.
FINAL FOUR RESULTS
First day, Friday, April 9, 2021
Diamond Food VC b Prince VC 3-0 (25-23, 25-14, 25-15)
Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC b Phitsanulok VC 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-16)
Diamond Food VC b 3BB Nakornnont 3-0 (25-16, 25-11, 25-21)
Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC b Supreme Chonburi E-Tech 3-2 (25-17, 16-25, 18-25, 25-21, 15-10)
Second day, Saturday, April 10, 2021
Diamond Food VC v Phitsanulok VC
Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC v Prince VC
Supreme Chonburi E-Tech v Diamond Food VC
Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC v 3BB Nakornnont
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