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Pinay spikers fall to Thais; relegated to battle for bronze


Defending champion Thailand’s firepower proved too much for the Filipina spikers to handle as they bowed down, 22-25, 9-25, 12-25, in the knockout semifinal of the 32nd Southeast Asia Games women’s volleyball competition Saturday night at the Olympic Complex Indoor Main Hall.

The Philippines gave the 14-peat-seeking Thais a scare in the early going of the opening set only to crumble in the end, putting the Nationals in a precarious position in their quest to end an 18-year medal drought.

Thailand secured its 17th straight gold medal match stint and will face the winner between Vietnam and Indonesia in the other semis pairing.

The Filipinas, whose last podium finish was back in 2005 in Manila when they won bronze, are relegated in the battle for third on Sunday at 6 p.m. (Manila time).

Chatchu-on Moksri and Pimpichaya Kokram did most of the damage for the Thais, firing at will as the Filipinas showed little resistance in the last two frames after a promising start.

The Filipinas went off to a good start with wingers Tots Carlos and Mylene Paat and the middle blocker duo of Ced Domingo and Cherry Nunag connecting perfectly with playmaker Jia Morado-de Guzman.

The Philippines held a 17-14 advantage after an attack error by Thailand. But the Thais were quick to recover after it uncorked an 8-2 run to regain the lead, 22-19.

The Nationals rallied to tie it 22 after Carlos’ back-to-back hit but Thailand put the set away with three straight points.

Shaking off a rusty start, the Thais just overwhelmed the Filipinas in the next two sets on their way to another championship game appearance.

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