Volleyball News

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 21, 2017 – Defending and successive three-time champions Thailand got their title defense campaign off to a brilliant start at the 29th South East Asian Games Men’s Volleyball Championship after putting it past the fighting Myanmar in hard-fought three-setter 25-22 25-19 29-27at MITEC Hall 11 on Monday.

Against Myanmar, bronze medallists at the previous Games two years ago in Singapore, Thailand fielded a strong line-up who have been playing together for several years including Jirayu Raksakaew, Kittikun Sri-Utthawong, Kitsada Somkane and Kissada Nilsawai, while prolific Aung Thu, who has been competing professionally in Thailand, spearheaded Myanmar.

With greater experience, dazzling form and individual talents, Thailand took the first two sets 25-22 25-19, but Myanmar attempted to claw their way back in the third set, with powerful Aung Thu penetrating the Thai defence with his spectacular spikes. However, the Thai side held their nerves and bounced back at the final assault to win the tough third set 29-27 and match.

Jirayu Raksakaew scored a team-high 23 points from 19 kills, 2 blocks and 2 aces. Kittinon Namkhunthod handed Thailand 13 points including 9 kills from 13 attempts and 3 blocks. Aung Thu led Myanmar with 22 points including 18 kills from 33 attempts and 3 blocks.

“To beat Myanmar is not that easy. The SEA Games competition is an important match to all Asean players. Those fielded in the first match must be strong and veterans. Although we claim our first victory in the SEA Games, we will not underestimate any team. We will do our best in every match,” Thailand head coach Monchai Supajirakul commented after the match.

Thailand will next take on Cambodia on Tuesday, while Myanmar play hosts Malaysia on Wednesday.


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