Indonesia will play Philippines to vie for the third place
Thailand and long-time rivals Vietnam are set to face off on Sunday in their last encounter of the 3rd Southeast Asian Women’s Volleyball League (SEA V. League) Second Leg at the 3,000-seater gymnasium inside the Chiang Mai 700th Anniversary Sports Complex in Chiang Mai in a renewed and intense rivalry between the two unbeaten teams to determine the eventual champions.
Both Thailand and Vietnam had made it two in succession in the three-day, round-robin tournament, with the former yet losing a set to their respective rivals and the latter beating Indonesia 3-0 and struggling in 3-1 rout of Philippines.
Thailand, current world No.15 and consecutive 14-time Southeast Asian (SEA) Games winners, stayed atop the four-team standing with 6 points from two straight wins. Hot on the hosts’ heels are Vietnam, which also had 6 points from two wins in a row. However, due to the better sets ratio, Thailand captured the pole position. Philippines and Indonesia had yet won a match, but the former fared better with a 1-3 sets win/loss record to trail in third place.
On Sunday, Thailand will face off against Vietnam in a final rematch of the last week’s First Leg in Vinh Phuc. There, Thailand captured the crown following a 3-1 rout of Vietnam in front of a huge number of Vietnamese fans packing the Vinh Phuc Gymnasium.
Truly, Vietnam are looking forward to a revenge match against Thailand in Chiang Mai despite the fact that a daunting task awaits them. The Vietnamese side are not at their best due to the absence of many potential senior players in their team including star spiker Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, who took the Best Outside Hitter in the First Leg in Vinh Phuc, Hoang Thị Kieu Trinh the Best Opposite Spiker, and Doan Thị Lam Oanh the Best Setter.
Regarding Thailand, they are playing at home with a fantastic support of home fans. The host side had also shuffled their lineup in every set they had competed in the First Leg and Second Leg of the 3rd SEA V. League with aims of improving team productivity and building a high-performing team.
Therefore, Vietnam are expected to find it very difficult on Sunday to read the Thai game and have a dim chance of avenging the First-Leg loss to Thailand.
On Saturday, Vietnam, strengthened by Vi Thi Nhu Quynh, who was the most productive player in the team with 18 points in their match against Indonesia the previous day, clinched the comfortable first set 25-19.