Philippines goes down swinging in Thailand sweep loss
MANILA, Philippines – Thailand continued its dominant stretch in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games but not before enduring a late scare against a feisty Philippines side, 25-16, 25-22, 34-32, in women’s volleyball action at the PhilSports Arena on Thursday, December 5.
The Filipina spikers – already eliminated from gold medal contention just minutes prior to tip-off by way of Vietnam’s five-set win over Indonesia – still faced the Thai dynasty ready for a fight.
From a 19-24 deficit in the 3rd set, the Filipinas staged a blistering late 5-0 surge, forced multiple deadlocks, before eventually falling to the crushing might of the Thais in the extended set.
Thailand finally wrapped up the match after a Pimpichaya Kokram kill and a Wilavan Apinyapong finishing blow for a 34-32 win.
Alyssa Valdez led the late charge with 14 points on 12 attacks while SEA Games first-timer Mylene Paat added 11 markers.
Aby Maraño and Majoy Baron each chipped in 7 points while Jia Morado tallied 14 excellent sets.
Kokram led all scorers with 19 points while Apinyapong added 15 markers.
Nootsara Tomkom, meanwhile, steered the team to victory with a staggering 24 excellent sets in the three-set win.
While the Thais erected a massive 21-9 lead early after a Valdez attack error, fellow national team veteran Maraño sparked a spirited 6-1 run to cut the deficit to 7, 15-22.
However, the 11-time defending SEA Games champions promptly closed out the set, 25-16.
The Philippines then fed off Maraño’s fire and actually led 13-10 in the 2nd set after consecutive points by Baron.
The Filipinas went blow-by-blow and just trailed by one, 20-21, before the Thais again ran away with the frame, 25-22.
Thailand led by 5, 16-11, heading to the 2nd technical timeout, but had to go through a jittery stretch from a late Philippine rally in the extended set.
With the win, the Thais march on to their 15th straight gold medal match against Vietnam.
The Philippines will wrap up its elimination campaign versus Indonesia on Saturday in what will be a preview of the battle for bronze. – Rappler.com