THAILAND, INDIA FACE OFF IN “PRINCESS CUP” FINAL SHOWDOWN MAY 17
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, May 16, 2018 – Two unbeaten teams, Thailand and India, set up a final showdown of the “Princess Cup” 20th Est Cola South East Asian Women’s U17 Volleyball Championship at the Nakhon Pathom Sports Centre Gymnasium on Thursday.
In the Wednesday’s semi-finals, reigning champions Thailand pulled off a dramatic 25-9, 23-25, 25-13, 25-18 victory over Kazakhstan, with struggled India powering past Australia in hard-fought three-setter 28-26, 25-22, 25-23.
“We played well in the first set, so I decided to rest my best players and instead fielded those from the bench to perform in the second set. I just let them confront some pressure and seek solutions by themselves. I believed this will allow them opportunities to gain valuable competition experience. We are happy to get through to the final,” Thailand head coach Chamnan Dokmai said after the match.
“To play India in the final match, I think they are a good team with big spikes. But their movement is quite slow, so we try to use our combination plays with drop shots. We will try our best to beat them and keep the title at home,” he added.
India coach Radha Anagha expressed satisfaction over his team’s performance, upbeat that his players can come up with good form in the final.
“It was a tough match and good rallies from both Australia and our team. Even though my players didn’t show their best today (Wednesday), I am proud of my team that they found the way to win. My players are gaining confidence and hope that they will bring out their best form in the final,” Radha Anagha commented.
Meanwhile, Malaysia recovered from one set down to beat Singapore 3-1 (21-25, 27-25, 25-14, 25-17) in the 5th -8th playoff match on Wednesday.
Jia Tian Yong was instrumental in lifting the team’s victory as she scored a team-high 19 points for Malaysia, while Irene Qi Min Siah and Xin Ying Chia added another 15 and 13 points respectively. Tan Si Xuan led Singapore with 10 points.
“Against New Zealand on Thursday, I think our chance is 50-50. New Zealand are a good team and we have to study their game. I hope my players will play their best against them,” Malaysia head coach Moh Hiong Kwong said.
On Thursday, New Zealand will play Malaysia for the fifth place and Singapore take on Uzbekistan in the 7th-8th place playoff.
Australia will battle it out with Kazakhstan in the third-place playoff, with Thailand and India fighting for the title and the prestigious “Princess Cup.”
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