Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 25, 2017 – Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam cruised into the semi-finals at the 29th South East Asian Games Men’s and Women’s Volleyball Championships at the MITEC Hall 11 on Saturday, with Thailand out to defend their SEA Games title in both events.
In the men’s team event, Thailand finished a disappointing 11th place at the last month’s Asian Senior Men’s Championship in Surabaya, Indonesia, but entered the Kuala Lumpur Games with their heads high as defending and consecutive three-time SEA Games champions.
Thailand got the 29th SEA Games off to a brilliant start to make it to the semi-finals with remarkable unbeaten record. They kicked off their title defence campaign with a scintillating 3-0 win over Myanmar on August 21, the opening day of the SEA Games volleyball competition in Kuala Lumpur, and continued their great show with a convincing 3-0 victory over Cambodia the following day.
On August 24, Thailand stunned Malaysia and their boisterous home crowds with a sensational 3-0 win to capture the top spot in Pool A with 9 points from straight three wins. Myanmar finished second in the pool with 5 points from two wins against one loss. Malaysia came in third place with 4 points from one win against two losses, with underdogs Cambodia losing them all to claim the fourth spot in the pool.
Indonesia, fourth place at the recent Asian Senior Men’s Championship at home in Surabaya, proved that they are one of the strongest teams to be reckoned with in Kuala Lumpur. The Indonesians, which have already won 9 SEA Games titles since they claimed their first title in 1981 in the Philippines, topped Pool B with 9 points from three wins in succession.
Indonesia first brushed off Timor Leste 3-0 before outclassing the Philippines 3-1 and Vietnam 3-0 to end the pool round-robin preliminaries with unbeaten run. Vietnam, silver medallists at the previous Games in Singapore two years ago, clinched the second position in Pool B with 6 points from two wins against one loss. The Philippines finished third with 3 points from one win against two losses, while Timor Leste did not win a set from their respective rivals to finish fourth place.
In the Saturday’s semi-finals, Pool A winners Thailand are due to take on Pool B runners-up Vietnam in the 2015 final rematch, while Pool B winners Indonesia will challenge Pool A runners-up Myanmar.
In the women’s competition, which attracted only six teams to vie for the top honour, reigning and 12-time SEA Games champions Thailand, fresh from picking up silver at the last week’s Asian Senior Women’s Championship in Manila, the Philippines, remained on course for their 13th SEA Games crown.
Thailand, current world No.16 and led by potential players including Pleumjit Thinkaow, setter Nootsara Tomkom, Ajcharaporn Kongyot and young talents Chatchu-on Moksri and Pimpichaya Kokram, topped Pool A with 6 points from straight two wins against Indonesia and Myanmar. Indonesia had 3 points from one win against one loss to come in second place, while Myanmar did not win a set in the pool plays to finish third in the pool.
Vietnam maintained their Pool B top spot with 6 points from straight two wins, followed by Philippines and Malaysia with 3 points and no point respectively.
Pool A winners Thailand will play Pool B runners-up Philippines in the Saturday’s semi-finals, with Pool B winners Vietnam challenging Pool A runners-up Indonesia in the other semi-final clash.
The winners on Saturday will advance to the final showdown, which will be held the following day.
10.00am: Women’s team: Thailand v Philippines
12.00pm: Women’s team: Vietnam v Indonesia
15.00pm: Men’s team: Thailand v Vietnam
17.00pm: Men’s team: Indonesia v Myanmar
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