MALAYSIA BEAT HONG KOKG IN TIE-BREAKER TO FINISH 11TH AT ASIAN WOMEN’S U17 CHAMPIONSHIP
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, May 26, 2018 – Malaysia made an impressive 3-2 comeback win over Hong Kong 16-25 25-21 25-18 17-25 15-13 to finish 11th position at the 12th Asian Women’s U17 Volleyball Championship at the Nakhon Pathom Municipality Gymnasium on Saturday.
Jia Tian Yong led Malaysia with 22 points including 12 attacks from 42 attempts, while Irene Qi Min Siah assisted 12 points. Wong Wing Sze emerged as the Hong Kong’s top scorer with 20 points.
Both sides got the 11th-12th playoff encounter off to a tight contest with Hong Kong leaving the rivals just one point behind from the beginning. However, taking a narrow 8-7 lead, the Hong Kong’s girls found their rhythm. With Lam Tsz Ching and Hui Ching Divine attacking effectively at the net, Hong Kong regained their composure to come up with combination plays and solid defence, stretching the lead to 23-13 and never looked back to take the comfortable set 25-16.
In the second set, Malaysia gradually pulled their game together, seizing the opportunity when Hong Kong’s nerves began to fray. As the opponents were prone to attacking and serving mistakes, Malaysia played with confidence and consistency. Leading 24-20, Malaysia allowed Hong Kong only one more point to win the set 25-21. The Malaysians still took total control in the third set, which they won 25-18.
Going down 1-2, Hong Kong regrouped and started to produce the good in the fourth set. Hui Ching Divine and Wong Wing Sze steered the team to the pole position 12-4 and the squad continued their unchallenged task to grab the set 25-17.
In the decider, Malaysia enjoyed a good run to lead initially 4-0, but Hong Kong recovered to catch the rivals at 5-5. After that, both sides poured everything they had, but Malaysia fared better to capture the set 15-13, match and the 11th place in this championship.
“My players played not very well. Actually, I want to change the formation in the first set because my player Irene injured her knee. However, they could not perform well and then I changed back. Irene tried to maintain her form and we then came back to win. This is our first win in this championship. We trained only one month in preparation for this championship, but for me I think it was not enough. As far as I’m concerned, our stamina has dropped match by match. We competed in the recent Princess Cup and after that tournament, my girls should have played better, but they came up with a disappointing form. However, to finish 11th in this championship is not that bad,” Malaysia head coach Moh Hiong Kwong said.
Malaysia finished 11th place in this championship, while Hong Kong claimed 12th position.
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