MANILA, Philippines – In one of the largest volleyball stages in the world, Thailand has shown why it is a force to be reckoned with in the Southeast Asian region.
The SEA Games champions beat Canada 25-19, 25-22, 26-24 after an exciting third set, as the Volleyball Nations League Week 2 got off to a tough start in cloudy weather on Tuesday afternoon at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We play the best we can,” said Pimpichaya Kokram, who led the Thais with 20 points as the 23-year-old Open Spyker combined for 19 of 34 attacks.
The 22-year-old retro-spiker Chachu-on-Moxari had 17 points, including two service aces, for world number 14.
Despite the absence of 28-year-old experienced middle blocker Thadao Nuekjang, who was injured in the first week of the tournament in Ankara, Turkey, Thailand still managed to lift its overall record to 4-1.
Canada were third in five outings after giving up 27 points for the Thais, who made just 11.
“I think we were disappointed [with how] We showed up today, ”said Alexa Gray, who finished with 13 points.
A shot from behind Emily Maglio forced the final stalemate of the match 24-24, but the Canadians were unable to take a break when needed. Canada’s Net Fault Challenge failed which put Thailand on the match point with an attack error one hour, 21 minutes before the end of the competition.
Kiera van Rijk scored 20 points, including nine in the third set, while Maglio added eight to become the world number 16.
Tokyo Olympic gold medalist and current VNL champion United States will make its debut against Bulgaria at the Big Dome on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
That includes Micha Hancock, Libro Justin Ong-Orantes, outside hitter Kelsey Robinson and middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu and the Haley Washington roster with 2020 gold medalists. China, currently ranked No. 3 in the latest women’s world rankings, will play Belgium at 6 p.m.
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