Volleyball News


Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, July 31, 2018 – Thailand’s Nakhonratchasima The Mall VC, fresh from bagging their first win over Hong Kong’s Yanchai in their previous match, made it two in a row at the 2018 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship following a convincing 3-1 (25-17 25-19 18-25 25-22 over Australia’s Canberra Heat at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium Hall B on Tuesday.

Jirayu Raksakaew remained the top scorer of Nakhonratchasima after scoring a match-high 19 points including 18 kills fro 27 attempts, while Pablo Fernando De Souza added 18 points. Jordan Power led Canberra Heat with 18 points.

Terrific Jirayu, Brazilian Pablo Fernando De Souza Ciirqueira, and hard-hitting Wanchai Tabwises were on fire throughout the first two sets.

Saranchit Charoensuk and Pablo were defending brilliantly at the net, blocking almost everything the rivals could throw at them, while Jirayu and Wanchai were also in particular on superb form blunting the Australians’ efforts with their exceptional attacks. Canberra Heat, spearheaded by the powerful left-hander Matthew Aubrey, who stands 207cm tall, came up with some more sensational defending, but their good show did not last long. The Thai side took the first set 25-17.

Nakhonratchasima gained the upper hand in the second set. However, while leading 12-9, Nakhonratchasima rested another major force in Brazilian, Paulo Pelinha Paulino Santos, who injured his left shoulder. Coach Somboon Sukontapong replaced him with Nantawaut Taengkrathok and at the same times fielded several substitutions including Yuranan Bounding. The Australians fought hard, but Nakhonratchasima held their nerves to win the second set 25-19.

Canberra Heat turned on the heat in the third set when the formidable rivals lost their touch and became more prone with serving and attacking mistakes. The Australian side snatched the third set 25-18.

The fourth set was more thrilling when both sides fought it all out to win the set. As Nakhonratchasima took an impressive 19-17 lead, Canberra Heat upped their tempo to catch the Thai team 22-22, but Nakhonratchasima went on their attacks to win the set 25-22 and match.

“We did not underestimate Canberra Heat. I would like my team to behalf like the Australians when they won even a point, they celebrated the win point cheerfully. That will lift your spirit and intention. However, Canberra Heat are very tall with good blocking, while we played with confidence. We lost the third set because of some minor mistakes we made. In the fourth set, we struggled because one of our key players suffered an injury, leaving our front line attack not to be that strong like usual. The Paulo Paulino’s injury might not be serious. I think he can recover fast and may join our team the following day. Against Lanka Lions in our last match in the pool round-robin preliminaries, we have to prepare our team well. The Sri Lankans are strong as they beat Canberra Heats in straight sets and they are also determined to win. We have to do our best in that match,” Thailand coach Somboon Sukontapong commented after the match.

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