THAILAND ROUT KOREA 3-1 TO SET UP 5TH-PLACE PLAYOFF AGAINST AUSTRALIA AT AVC CUP FOR MEN
Taipei, Chinese Taipei, August 14, 2018 – Thailand surged into a hard-fought 3-1 (25-23, 27-25, 21-25, 25-16) win over Korea in the 5th-8th playoffs at the 6th AVC Cup for Men at the University of Taipei (Tianmu) Gymnasium on Tuesday.
The first set saw the Koreans suffer mixed combination and attacks orchestrated by Thai setter Saranchit Charoensuk to trail with 2 points behind at the first technical timeout (6-8). The margin was then widened to five points at the second technical timeout (11-16) before the Korea’s substitution Jeong Seong-gyu popped out to penetrate the Thai defence with his thundering attacks and narrowed it to 19-22. However, one person’s outstanding performance could not save a team while better teamwork helped Thailand clinch the action-packed first set 25-23.
Both sides continued their superb forms in the second set which turned out to be a tense battle. With his cannon-like attacks, captain of Thailand Kittikhun Sri-Utthawong helped his team lead at 16-14. Korea fought back in full force, meeting two set points 24-22 with fantastic digging and powerful counterattacks. However, the Koreans let the victory slip through their fingers due to two errors. The Thai snatched the close set 27-25.
With the game entering the third set, Korea found a scoring pattern as they gradually widened the margin. Forcing Thailand to call two time-outs in vain later, Korea were able to take the set in 25-21.
Despite a few upsets in the early fourth set, Thailand clawed their way back in the game with a 16-12 lead, following a touch-out by Korea. Finally the Thais claimed the set in 25-16, helping keep their hopes them of clinching their best-ever fifth place in the top-tier tournament on Wednesday.
“We fought all out during the game, which led to a wonderful victory. We will revise some problems in serving, trying to play more actively as well at the next game against Australia,” said Monchai Supajirakul, the head couch of Thailand.
Captain Kittikhun Sri-Utthawng chipped in with a match-high 22 points for Thailand, with Jirayu Raksakaer and Kitsada Somkane kept their good company with 19 points and 13 points respectively, while Jeong Seong-gyu and Heo Su-bong scored 17 points apiece for Korea.