Thailand beats Cuba but fails to secure the Olympic berth – Volleyball news
The trio of Onuma Sittirak, Wilavan Apinyapong,and Pleumjit Thinkaow led Thailand to a 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 18-25, 25-21) victory against Cuba on Sunday as two teams played their last match of 2012 FIVB Women’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament.
Tokyo Metropolitan Gym in Japan set up the field of play and around 1,450 spectators showed up. Thailand put up a valiant effort to make it to the 2012 London Olympics but failed to succeed on account of low set ratio.
Japan and Thailand finished the Olympic Qualifiers with overall 4-3 record but the hosts went ahead as they had more set wins to their tally. Nonetheless, Thailand kept its hopes alive until the final decision and displayed a stellar performance against
Caribbean team in the last match.
Top-gun of Thailand Sittirak settled for the position of top-scorer with match-high 20 points. She was followed by Apinyapong and Thinkaow, who added 17 and 16 points respectively.
On Cuban side, Yoana Palacios registered 16 points whereas Yanelis Santos tallied 15 in the failing effort.
Ambitious Caribbean squad made a strong opening in the match and cruised past to an early advantage over Thailand. Cuba led the score 8-4 at the FTT and did not allow Thailand to come up. Gradually, Thailand picked on the tricks of the trade and flipped
the scorecard at 11-10. Cuba fell down and suffered one-point deficit at the next technical break (15-16).
Afterwards, the two teams staged point-to-point battle. The score soared up with close gaps, while Thailand proved its endeavours in the end. Thais posted 25-23 to secure the opening stanza of the match.
In the second set, Thailand built an early lead and kept Cuba behind the attack line. Cuba stayed near and managed to catch up with Thailand at 12-all. Thailand thrashed the rivals and retook the lead.
However, Caribbean team continued putting more and more effort. They created another interesting twist in the game and tied the score at 22-22. Apinyapong helped Thailand in the crucial time and led the team to another 25-23 win.
Third set was a heated competition, which featured many long rallies, ended in Cuba’s favour (25-18). Nevertheless, Thais edged out Cuba in the fourth set by posting 25-21 onboard.
Thailand’s Head Coach Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai disclosed his thoughts after the match. He stated, “We fought hard in every game. This match was not easy. Cuba is very strong in all aspects. I'm happy with my players. This game will be a good memory for
Likewise, the skipper of Thailand team Wilavan Apingyapong expressed delight about their win. She commented, “We are very happy to win. It was hard for us. It was tough because Cuba is very powerful and strong. We had to play our best in every technique.
Our unity was important.”