Si Sa Ket, Thailand, July 17, 2016 – Hosts Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam remain unbeaten at the “Princess Cup” 19th Est Cola South East Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship presented by SMM Sport at Weesommai Gymnasium on Sunday.
With two straight wins in the eight-team tournament, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam are assured of advancing to the semi-finals of the five-day meet although they still have one more match remaining in their group round-robin preliminaries on Monday.
In Pool A, Thailand and the Philippines made it two in a row on Sunday. Thailand, which breezed past New Zealand in comfortable straight sets on Saturday, showed no mercy to Singapore to brush off the inexperienced rivals in a totally one-sided battle in 55 minutes.
After taking the effortless first set 25-5, the host side rested their best players including Chutchu-on Moksri and Pimpichaya Kokram and instead fielded substitutions including Tirawan Sang-ob and Supawan Boonsaklert to snatch the next two sets 25-8 25-7.
Kanittha Juangjan scored a team-high 12 points for Thailand, 10 of them through powerful hits from 16 attempts, while Tan Ying Xuan Claudia led Singapore with only three points including two on blocks.
Thailand, which have yet lost a set to their respective rivals, remain atop the Pool A standing with 6 points from two consecutive wins. On Monday, the host will go up against undefeated Philippines to vie for the top spot in Pool A.
Also having similar six points from two wins against no loss are the Philippines. Fresh from beating Singapore in straight sets on Saturday, the Philippines on Sunday outclassed New Zealand 3-1 (25-23 25-13 17-25 25-17). Mary Anne Mendrez top scored with 16 points for Philippines, with Jodi Stevens leading New Zealand with 15 points.
Thailand and the Philippines are the only two unbeaten teams from Pool A to secure semi-final berths, while New Zealand and Singapore have yet won a match and will meet each other in their last preliminary match on Monday. However, both teams have already been relegated to contest the 5th-8th classification round.
In Pool B, Vietnam, beating Malaysia in straight sets the previous day, continued their winning streak by annihilating Indonesia in pulsating three sets 25-15 25-17 26-24. Luu Thi Hue led Vietnam with 16 points including 11 kills from 20 attempts. Luu Thi Hue and Duong Thi Hen shared three points apiece from blocking, while Nguyen Thu Hoai and Pham Thi Nguyet Anh added three points each on aces. Dyah Kumala Sakti was the Indonesia’s top scorer with 15 points.
Two straight wins have earned Vietnam a place in the semi-finals despite the fact that they still have last preliminary match against Australia on Monday.
Indonesia and Australia have the similar three points from one win against one loss and will vie for the remaining semi-finalist berth. Indonesia on Sunday went down to Vietnam 0-3, while Australia overcame their disappointing straight-set loss to Indonesia on Saturday to beat Malaysia 3-0 (25-9 25-17 25-22).
On Monday, Indonesia face an easy task against Malaysia, while Australia have to play a must-win match against unbeaten Vietnam. Their Monday’s matches will decide the second team to join Vietnam in Pool B in the semi-finals of the tournament.
The group round-robin preliminaries will be concluded on Monday, with only top two teams from each pool advancing to the semi-finals. The remaining two teams in each pool will be relegated to contest the 5th-8th playoffs.
GROUP ROUND-ROBIN PRELIMINARIES
Philippines b New Zealand 3-1 (25-23 25-13 17-25 25-17)
Thailand b Singapore 3-0 (25-5 25-8 25-7)
Australia b Malaysia 3-0 (25-9 25-17 25-22)
Vietnam b Indonesia 3-0 (25-15 25-17 26-24)
12pm: Malaysia vs Indonesia
2pm: New Zealand vs Singapore
4pm: Australia vs Vietnam
6pm: Thailand vs Philippines