Following a remarkable success of hosting the First Leg in Vinh Phuc, Vietnam last week, the third Southeast Asian Women’s Volleyball League (SEA V. League) is set to kick off its action-packed Second Leg from August 11 to 13 at the 3,000-seater gymnasium inside the Chiang Mai 700th Anniversary Sports Complex in Chiang Mai, the largest city in northern Thailand with approximately 700km north of Bangkok.
Thailand had already captured the eventual title in the first two editions in 2019 (First Leg on their home soil in Nakhon Ratchasima, and Second Leg in Santa Rosa, Philippines), 2022 (Only One Leg on in Nakhon Ratchasima) as well as the last week’s First Leg of the 2023 season in Vinh Phuc, Vietnam.
Thailand, current world No.15 and consecutive 14-time Southeast Asian (SEA) Games champions, will be back to defend their crown, having their sights set on making a clean sweep on home soil for back-to-back titles in 2023.
The Thai team are utilizing the SEA V. League as the tune-up matches in their preparation for three major competitions later this year comprising the 22nd Asian Senior Women’s Championship on home soil in Nakhon Ratchasima from August 30 to September 6, the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Qualification Tournament Pool C in Lodz, Poland from August 16 to 24 and the 19th Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games Volleyball Tournament in China from September 30 to October 7.
As a result, Thailand head coach Danai Sriwacharamaytakul allowed every player in his team an equal chance of sharpening their expertise and gaining valuable competition experience in the on-going two-leg SEA V. League competition.
In the Second Leg in Chiang Mai, the Thai squad remain offensively formidable with the likes of fully-fledged players including Chatchu-on Moksri, Ajcharaporn Kongyot, Thatdao Nuekjang, Pimpichaya Kokram, setter Pornpun Gerdpard and Sasipapron Janthawisut. There is a little change of the lineup, with outside hitter Sutadta Chuewulim, outside hitter Natthimar Kubkaew and setter Donphon Sinpho being called in to replace Thanacha Sooksod, Wipawee Srithong and setter Sirima Manakij.
World No.47 and AVC Challenge Cup champions Vietnam, which picked up silver medal at the First Leg on home soil in Vinh Phuc, will make big changes to their team roster, with only five players who competed in Vinh Phuc remaining with the team this time comprising Pham Thai Nguyet Anh, Tran Thi Bich Thuy, Vo Thi Kim Thoa, Vi Thi Nhu Quynh and Ly Thi Luyen.
The other key players…