Excitement over the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Beach Volleyball Tournament, which serves as the AVC Continental Cup Phase 1 Southeastern Zone, hits fever pitch as strong teams are ready to strive for their success in the eagerly-anticipated semifinals at Otres Beach in Sihanoukville, Cambodia on Monday.
Vietnam will face off against Thailand and Philippines go up against defending champions Indonesia in the men’s semifinals, while the women’s semifinals see Indonesia take on Vietnam and Singapore challenge reigning champions Thailand.
The winning teams in men’s and women’s events in the Monday’s semifinals are assured of qualifying for either the Semifinals or the Final Round of the AVC Beach Volleyball Continental Cup. As the eventual winners of the 32nd SEA Games Beach Volleyball Tournament on Tuesday will secure their berths in the Final Round, silver medallists will test their mettle in the Semifinals.
The host nations for the Semifinals have yet been announced, but Australia has already confirmed to host the men’s Final Round of the AVC Beach Volleyball Continental Cup, with China organizing the women’s Final Round.
On Sunday, the last day of the pool plays, Indonesia saw off Singapore 2-0 in the men’s Pool B, with Thailand powering past Malaysia 2-0, while Pool A encounters saw Philippines beat Laos 2-0 and Cambodia shut out Timor-Leste 2-0.
Pribadi Danangsyah/Ramadhan Gilang, bronze medallists at the last month’s AVC Beach Tour 22nd Samila Open and the 2018 Asian Games bronze medallists on home soil, handed Indonesia an initial 1-0 lead after spending only 26 minutes in routing Singaporeans Goh Teng Kuan Melvin/Tan Trevis 2-0 (21-11, 21-11).
Ashfiya Mohammad/Akbar Bintang also proved too strong for Tay Kingsley/Shen Fan Yang Mark to crush the Singaporean duo 21-7, 21-15 in 30 minutes for Indonesia’s clean sweep of 2-0 win against Singapore.
In the other Pool B match, Pithak Tipjan/Poravid Taovato, winners at the FIVB Beach Pro Tour Subic Bay Futures in Philippines last December and silver medallists at the last month’s AVC Beach Tour 22nd Samila Open on home soil in Songkhla, pulled off comfortable 2-0 (21-12, 21-9) win against Kai Xu Looi/Wei Chun Ler to give Thailand a 1-0 lead.
Surin Jonglant/Dunwinit Kaewsai later did not let the Thai fans down with their impressive form to beat Muhammad Llham Adili Alias/Jeng Yin Low 2-0 (21-11, 21-7) in 28 minutes for Thailand’s 2-0 victory against Malaysia.
In Pool A, Philippines comfortably beat Laos 2-0, with Filipinos Abdilla Alnakran/Requinton Jaron demolishing Saykhammoun Lid/Sanyalak Khampiene 2-0 (21-9, 21-8) and Garcia Jude/Buytrago James defeating Laotians Chanthongdeng Chansabab/Phommachan Bounmixay 2-0 (21-11, 21-13).
Cambodia celebrated their crucial 2-0 win against Timor-Leste. Thy Menghuong/Chuk Sophea cruised past Correia Fabricius Da Cruz/Valente Joel Savio 2-0 (21-12, 21-16) for the hosts’ victory in the first match and Sophon Pich/Oem Narit trounced Fernandes Xavier Inocencio/Freitas Jonio Martinho 2-0 (21-14, 21-10) to completely end the Timor-Leste’ challenge.
At the end of the men’s pool play, Vietnam topped Pool A with 11 points from 4 straight wins, followed by Philippines with 9 points from 3 wins against one loss. Cambodia finished third in Pool A with 7 points from 2 wins against 2 losses. Timor-Leste came in fourth place with 3 points from one win against 3 losses and winless Laos had no point awarded to finish on the bottom fifth.
Indonesia captured the top spot in Pool B with 8 points from three wins in a row, with Thailand in second position with 7 points from 2 wins against one loss. Singapore, collecting 2 points from one win against two losses, and Malaysia, having one point from three successive losses, finished third and fourth places respectively.
In the Monday’s semifinals, Vietnam face off against Thailand and title-holders Indonesia take on Philippines.
Meanwhile, the women’s Pool B encounters on Sunday saw Philippines put it past Malaysia 2-0 and defending champions Thailand brush off Vietnam 2-0.
Pons Bernadette/Rodriguez Floremel put Philippines in front 1-0 after storming past Sing Sing Yee/Beh Maegan Jia Yin 2-0 (21-19, 21-9) and Rondina Cherry Ann/Gonzaga Jovelyn brushed off Nur Auni Maisarah Shamsulrizal/Pilihan Zuliza in a one-sided affair 2-0 (21-9, 21-11) for the Philippines’ eventual 2-0 win against Malaysia.
In the other clash between Thailand and Vietnam, the 2021 Asian winners Taravadee Naraphornrapat/Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee gave the former a 1-0 lead. In the second match, veteran Tanarattha Udomchavee/Varapatsorn Radarong, gold medallists at the 2022 Songkhla Future on Samila Beach in Thailand and winners at the 2013 Indonesia Palembang Open, struggled to narrowly edge past Chau Ngoc Lan/Nguyen Thi Thanh Tram 2-0 (21-18, 27-25).
Indonesia topped Pool A with 6 points from two successive wins, followed by Singapore with 3 points from one win against one loss. Winless hosts Cambodia came in third place in Pool A with no point earned.
Pool B was dominated by title-holders Thailand with 8 points from 3 straight wins. Vietnam finished second with 5 points from 2 wins against one loss. Philippines came in third place in Pool B with 5 points from one win against two losses, while winless Malaysia finished in fourth position with no point awarded.
In the Monday’s semifinals, Indonesia take on Vietnam, while Thailand face off against Singapore.
The bronze-medal matches and final showdowns in both men’s and women’s events will take place on Tuesday, May 16.
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