MANILA, Philippines—A courageous stand in the third set fell short, as the Philippine women's volleyball team succumbed to powerhouse Thailand in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Thursday at the Philsports Arena.
The Filipinas poured it on in a marathon third set in an effort to extend the match, but the Thais held firm to pull off a 25-16, 25-22, 34-32 triumph in a battle that took two hours and 16 minutes to complete.
The loss dropped the Philippines to 0-2 in the women's volleyball competition of the SEA Games, putting Alyssa Valdez and co. out of the running for the gold medal match. Instead, they will play Indonesia (0-2) for the bronze medal on Monday.
Before that, the hosts play Indonesia in their final group round game on Saturday.
The Filipinas mounted a ferocious rally in the third frame, dragging the defending gold medalists into a back-and-forth battle. They last led, 32-31, off an Valdez hit, before a service error by Maddie Madayag knotted the count once again. Ultimately, Thailand had too much firepower, as hits by Pimpichiya Kokram and veteran Wilavan Apinyapong finished off the Philippines.
The Thais will play Vietnam in the gold medal match, with both teams having 2-0 win-loss records.
Kokram led Thailand with 19 points, while Apinyapong had 15. Thailand, as a team, had 51 kills to 40 by the Filipinas. Celebrated setter Nootsara Tomkom was credited with 24 excellent sets.
Valdez had 14 points to pace the Filipinas, while Mylene Paat scored 11 points.
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