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Gritty PHI falls to Thailand in AOFC Cup semis

The Thai floorball team takes a photo op after beating the Philippines in the AOFC Cup semifinals. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

BINAN--Thailand escaped a gallant stand from the Philippines in a high-octane semifinal of the Asia Oceania Floorball Confederation Cup with a 13-7 win at the Alonte Sports Arena on Thursday night.

A dominant first period turned out to be enough for the Thais as they engaged in a shootout with the Filipinos the rest of the way.

The Philippines drew first blood in the fourth minute of the match as Luis Manila found Jan Vitaliano for the goal to the delight of the home crowd.

But a Chusak Narkprasert goal a minute later sparked a four-goal barrage by Thailand to enter the first intermission ahead.

Watcharapon Onsuk, who scored the last goal of the first period for Thailand, actually scored two more in the second period for the hat trick, and his team kept a 7-3 lead entering the third.

Nakprasert then opened the final 20-minute period with a goal that completed his own brace, while Weerawat Singthong added another to stretch Thailand's lead to six, 9-3.

The Philippines, however, began scoring at free will too as Alexander Warendh and Ryan Hallden scored a goal each to come to within four again, 5-9, with 12:38 left.

Thailand then finished the job by going on a 4-1 run with Pitsanu Kannala and Natthawut Dueankhao completing braces of their own in the process even as Hallden made his own brace with the lone Philippine goal in the Thai rally.

Manila scored the final goal of the match for the Philippines.

Also having two assists in the game, Nakprasert was named the Man of the Match for Thailand, which will face Singapore in the final on Friday night.

Singapore blasted South Korea in the other semifinal, 13-1.

Lucas Oijvall, who netted his team's second goal of the game at the halfway point of the second period and assisted Hallden's second goal, was named the best player for the Philippines, which will battle South Korea for the bronze medal earlier Friday.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno