Photos courtesy of Thailand Volleyball Association
Bangkok, Thailand, April 10, 2021 – Unbeaten Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC unofficially captured the men’s title following their exceptional 3-0 win over Prince VC, as hot-favourites Diamond Food VC moved a step closer to landing their first-ever women’s crown at the Daikin Volleyball Thailand League 2020-2021 at The Mall Bangkapi’s MCC Hall on Saturday.
Contesting the round-robin, two-week Finals behind closed doors, defending and six-time champions Nakhon Ratchasima badly needed a convincing straight-set win on Saturday to be 100 percent assured that they will successfully retain their men’s title this season.
Fired-up Nakhon Ratchasima, the only team in the Finals which have yet dropped a set to their respective rivals, fielded a formidable lineup including hard-attacking Wanchai Tabwises, Sri Lankan Janitha Surath and Pakistani Aimal Khan to cruise past lacklustre Prince VC, strengthened by veteran Kitsada Somkene, in comfortable straight sets 25-19, 25-15, 25-20 in 71 minutes.
Aimal Khan chipped in with 15 points for Nakhon Ratchasima including 11 attacks and two stuff blocks, while Wanchai Tabwises and Janitha Surath added 11 and 9 points respectively. Chaimongkhon Paketkaeo and Wisan Thongluk bagged 7 points apiece for Prince VC.
With the straight-set win, Nakhon Ratchasima proved clearly uncatchable for the other teams as they now have 15 points from five wins in a row to stay atop the men’s standing. They will next take on closest rivals Diamond Food in their final match on Sunday.
Although Nakhon Ratchasima may play with more unforced mistakes on Sunday to go down in straight sets to Diamond Food, both teams will, however, have identical 15 points with the similar performance of 5 wins against one loss after that. Still, with the better sets ratio, Nakhon Ratchasima are assured of capturing the men’s title. Therefore, winning or losing on Sunday, Nakhon Ratchasima will be officially crowned the VTL champions.
In the other match earlier, Diamond Food rested their key player Luiz Perotto from Brazil and fielded Kittikun Sriutthawong, Kantapat Koonmee, Suthiphong Donlakkham, Kissada Nilsawai, Toopadit Phraput and Brazilian setter Andre Luiz Queiroz Franca to breeze past Phitsanulok VC in one-sided affair 25-17, 25-13, 25-18.
Suthiphong Donlakkham scored a match-high 18 points for Diamond Food including 12 attacks and 4 blocks, with Kissada Nilsawai adding 11 points. Kittithad Nuwaddee led Phitsanulok VC with 11 points including 10 attacks.
Diamond Food came in second place overall with 12 points from 4 wins against one loss, while Phitsanulok VC had 2 points from one win against four losses and winless Prince VC collected only one point.
On Sunday, the season-closing games of all participating teams in the Final Four, Nakhon Ratchasima will test their mettle against Diamond Food, while Phitsanulok VC will challenge Prince VC.
Meanwhile, reigning and three-time winners Supreme Chonburi E-Tech fought hard against gritty Diamond Food to go down in hard-fought four-setter.
Supreme, led by two veterans Wilavan Apinyapong and Pleumjit Thinkaow and ace spiker Ajcharaporn Kongyot, took the first set 25-19 before Diamond Food, strengthened by powerful hitter Onuma Sittirak, highly-experienced setter Nootsara Tomkom and gifted Sasipaporn Chanthawhisut, dominated the highly-anticipated clash with wins in the remaining three sets 26-24, 30-28, 25-20 for the eventual 3-1 win.
The other encounter saw Nakhon Ratchasima, spearheaded by sensation Chutchu-on Moksri and Turkish Yeliz Basa, seal the deal in straight sets 25-15, 25-21, 29-27 in their crucial match against 3BB Nakornnont.
With the straight-set win, Nakhon Ratchasima will play Diamond Food in their final match on Sunday with one goal in mind – to beat the unbeaten rivals in straight sets. If such a goal is definitely accomplished, Nakhon Ratchasima can enhance their chances of winning the women’s title as the points ratio of both teams will be taken into final consideration to decide the eventual VTL champions this season.
Supreme, which already lost their crown this season, are due to take on winless 3BB Nakornnont in their final match on Sunday.
FINAL FOUR RESULTS
Second day, April 10, 2021
Diamond Food VC b Phitsanulok VC 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-18)
Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC b Prince VC 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-20)
Diamond Food VC b Supreme Chonburi E-Tech 3-1 (19-25, 26-24, 30-28, 25-20)
Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC b 3BB Nakornnont 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 29-27)
1. Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC 15 points (5 wins, no loss)
2. Diamond Food VC 12 points (4 wins, 1 loss)
3. Phitsanulok VC 2 points (1 win, 4 losses)
4. Prince VC 1 point (no win, 5 losses)
1. Diamond Food VC 14 points (5 wins, 0 loss)
2. Nakhon Ratchasima The Mall’s VC 11 points (4 wins, 1 loss)
3. Supreme Chonburi E-Tech 5 points (1 win, 4 losses)
4. 3BB Nakornnont 0 point (no win, 5 losses)
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