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Pinay volleybelles bow to Thailand but still hoping for SEA Games bronze

By Gil Moriones

MANILA – The Philippines' heroic deeds and efforts in the 3rd set were not enough to score at least score one set as they yielded to the defending champs, Thailand in straight sets, 16-25, 22-25, 32-34, in the continuing SEA Games women’s volleyball at PhilSport Arena in Pasig on Thursday night.

After going 2-0 up, the Thai team couldn’t close out the third set in regular fashion as the Pinay volleybelles continued to spoil to stop any match point in favour to Thailand.

Alyssa Valdez clinched the opening spot in Thai’s area to spike it out to make the deal at 26-all and another equalizer from her efforts as she used her left hand to make it 27-all.

Majoy Baron gave solid counters as she blocked the astonishing spike of Chatchuon Moksri to erase the Thai’s leading score earlier from Konkram Pimpichaya to save match point at 28-all.

Mylene Paat salvaged a point to put the Philippines ahead, 30-29, as she blocked Chatchuon anew, but their third set point was spoiled by Thailand.

Valdez saw another spot in Thai’s defensive floor and without hesitation to draw the dagger, 32-31, the fifth set point for the Philippines.

However, Pimpichaya took advantage to open spot for the Philippines to turn the tables in favor to Thailand at 33-32 and Wilavan Apinyapong finished everything in the thrilling third set, 32-34.

Earlier in the 3rd set, Maddie Madayag blocked Apinyaping to cut their deficit into four, 20-24 and Valdez scored after Thailand didn’t able to save the spike ball, 21-24 and she made another point without opponent’s answer, 23-24.

Jovelyn Gonzaga made the crowd roar as she thwarted the equalizer to save match point against Thailand to make it even at 24 and a net violation committed by Thailand to make it 25-24 for the Philippines.

Valdez recorded 14 points while Paat scored 11 points and eight blocks and Thailand’s Pimpichaya listed 19 points while Apinyapong with 14 points.

The Pinay volleybelles will try to end the 14-year medal drought in the bronze medal match against Indonesia on Monday.

Follow him on Twitter: @GilMoriones