UNBEATEN DEFENDING WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS THAILAND REMAIN ON COURSE, AS MEN’S EVENT REACHES CLIMAX IN KNOCKOUT SEMIFINALS STAGE AT 31ST SEA GAMES BEACH VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT

UNBEATEN DEFENDING WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS THAILAND REMAIN ON COURSE, AS MEN’S EVENT REACHES CLIMAX IN KNOCKOUT SEMIFINALS STAGE AT 31ST SEA GAMES BEACH VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT

Quang Ninh, Vietnam, May 18, 2022 – Reigning women’s champions Thailand brushed off Singapore for comfortable wins to continue remarkable unbeaten record by not dropping a set to their respective rivals, as hosts Vietnam on Wednesday joined Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia in the action-packed men’s semifinals of the 31st Southeast Asian Games Beach Volleyball Tournament at Tuan Chau Beach.

In the women’s event, Asian champions Taravadee Naraphornrapat/Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee outclassed Alicia Tan Kai Yun/Soh Cecilia Hui Chin 21-10, 21-13 to help Thailand take an early 1-0 lead against Singapore, while veterans and 2014 Asian Games silver medallists Varapatsorn Radarong/Tanarattha Udomchavee gave the formidable Thais the convincing 2-0 victory after crushing Chong Eliza/Ong Weiyu 21-9, 21-11 in a totally lopsided battle.

Thailand captured four wins on the trot to stay atop the standing. On Thursday, the final day of the single round-robin preliminaries, Thailand will strut their stuff against Philippines, which notched three wins against one loss.

On Wednesday, Philippines stunned Vietnam and their home crowds at Tuan Chau Beach with two consecutive wins. Filipinas Cherry Ann Rondina/Bernadeth Pons pulled off a dominant 21-16, 21-12 win against Nguyen Vu Ngoc Lan/Nguyen Le Thi Tuong Vy to put Philippines in front 1-0 before Jovelyn Gonzaga/Floremel Rodriguez made it two-for-two for the team after beating Vietnamese Truong Duong Thai My Huyen/Nguyen Thi Thanh Tram 21-13, 22-20.

Indonesia, silver medallists at the previous edition in Philippines three years ago, still keep their high hopes of advancing to the gold-medal match alive following their exceptional 2-0 wins against Malaysia on Wednesday.

The 2018 Asian Games bronze medallists Dhita Juliana/Putu Utami proved a cut above Aina Ahmad Nizar Farwizah/Jia Yin Beh Maegan to rout the Malaysian duo 21-9, 21-6 in a completely one-sided affair, while teammates Nur Sari/Sari Hartati struggled to beat Foo Sin Xi/Yee Sin Sing 22-20, 21-19 in a closely-contested encounter for the Indonesia’s eventual 2-0 wins.

Indonesia will be next pitted against hosts Vietnam on Thursday, while Malaysia and Singapore will fight it out for their first win in the six-day tournament.

Meanwhile, in the men’s competition, Philippines and Indonesia remained undefeated to top their pools at the end of the pool round-robin preliminaries on Wednesday.

The Wednesday’s highly-anticipated clash between Philippines and hosts Vietnam was decided by the golden match, with the former stealing the show to run away with the dramatic 2-1 win.

Nhat Ton Long/Nguyen Van Nha handed the host country an initial 1-0 lead following their hard-fought 21-15, 17-21, 15-12 win against Jude Garcia/Anthony Lemuel Jr Arbasto, but Filipinos Alnakran Abdilla/Jaron Requinton made amends for the loss, stunning Nguyen Lam Toi/Trang Quang Vu with a comeback 2-1 (19-21, 21-16, 15-13) win.

The golden match was won by Philippines as Jude Garcia switched his partner Anthony Lemuel Jr Arbasto to team up with Jaron Requinton and their intention worked out pretty well when the Philippine duo performed superbly to beat Vietnamese Nhat Ton Long/Nguyen Van Nha 21-18, 21-15 and handed Philippines the eventual 2-1 wins.

Thailand and Indonesia also enjoyed their comfortable wins on Wednesday, with the former powering past Laos 2-0 and the latter through with the similar performance against Malaysia.

At the end of pool round-robin preliminaries on Wednesday, Philippines topped Pool A with three straight wins, followed by hosts Vietnam with two wins against one loss. Cambodia came in third place with one win against two losses and winless Singapore finished on the bottom of the pool.

Pool B was dominated by title-holders Indonesia with three wins in a row, while Thailand finished second with two wins against one loss. Malaysia claimed the third spot with one win against two losses and Laos lost them all to finish fourth.

The men’s competition reaches its climax on Thursday, with top two teams from each pool contesting the cross semifinals. Pool A winners Philippines are due to take on Pool B second place Thailand, while Pool B winners Indonesia and Pool A second place Vietnam are set to fight it out for a place in the final showdown.

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