Day 7 Wrap-Up
Vinh Phuc, Vietnam, May 1, 2023 – Sport Center 1, the only team unbeaten in the 2023 Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship, bounced back to pull of stunning 3-1 upset of Liaoning Donghua in the semifinals to set up the final clash with Diamond Food Fine Chef-Air Force at the Vinh Phuc Gymnasium on Tuesday, vying for their maiden title.
Sport Center 1 fielded the Vietnam national team players who used this topflight club championship as a tune-up tournament ahead of their participation in the next week’s 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Cambodia.
In the semifinals, with the Top 4 teams contesting Pool D, on Monday, Sport Center 1 made terrific comeback to stun Liaoning, the Chinese outfits which finished 7th at the Chinese Volleyball League current 2022/23 season, in thrilling four-setter 17-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-16.
The dramatic victory has earned Sport Center 1 their unprecedented spot in the final showdown. Moreover, Sport Center 1 are making history for Vietnam as it will be for the first time ever since the tournament inception in 1999 that the Vietnamese team are sure of making the podium in this championship.
In the Tuesday’s showdown, Sport Center 1, powered by prolific Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, who plays professional league with PFU Blue Cats in the Japanese V.League Division 1, will face off against Diamond Food Fine Chef-Air Force. The Thai side, led by hard-hitting Wipawee Srithong, the 193cm-tall Serbian Natasa Cikiriz and promising Sasipaporn Janthawisut, outplayed King Whale Taipei in hard-fought straight sets 25-19, 25-19, 25-23 in the other semifinal clash on Monday.
The exception victory carried the former consecutive two-time Thailand League winners to the showdown, which guaranteed them at least the silver medal, a step better than they made at the previous edition in Semey, Kazakhstan last year when they returned with well-earned third place and bronze medal.
As Sport Center 1 are seeking their maiden title in the 2023 Asian Women’s Club Championship for hosts Vietnam, Diamond Food are also ready to fight for the historic title for their own club and the 7th title overall for Thailand. Thailand has already claimed the title for six times including three back-to-back wins from Federbrau in 2009, Federbrau in 2010 and Chang in 2011. The aforementioned three teams had been represented by Thailand national team players.
The remaining three Asian Club titles of Thailand came form Bangkok Glass in 2015 and…
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