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PH pair puts up gallant stand but still falls short vs. Thailand 1

The Philippines' Alexander Iraya tries to elude the block of Thailand 1's Netitorn Muneekul during their 3rd Asian U19 Beach Volleyball Championships Pool A match Sunday in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. AVC
By Dugout Philippines

NAKHON PATHOM, Thailand--The Philippines' Jayrack Dela Noche and Alexander Iraya lost to Thailand-1’s  Netitorn Muneekul and Wachirawit Muadpha, 18-21, 15-21 in their Third Asian U19 Beach Volleyball Championships debut on Sunday.

The Filipino pair gave the top-seeded Thais everything they had in the opening set and even led, 15-13, before the hosts recovered their bearing with solid plays.

Dela Noche and Iraya kept the game close in the second set, before Netitorn and Wachirawit pulled away with a 17-12 advantage and never looked back.

Thailand-1, which beat Iran-2’s Amir Reza Zamani and Armin Kami, 21-12, 19-21, 16-14, in a thrilling Pool A opening match Saturday, secured a spot in the quarterfinals with its second straight win.

Seeded eighth in the 13-team tournament, Dela Noche and Iraya needs to beat the No. 9 Iranian pair their final pool match at 9 a.m. (Manila time) on Monday to make it to the next round.

The Philippine National Volleyball Federation duo from Victorias City whose participation in the tournament is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and Rebisco, vowed to do better as they got the feel of the international arena.

"We gave our very best," said Iraya, who alongside  De la Noche will also represent the Philippines to the Fourth Asian U21 Beach Volleyball Championships, a qualifier for the FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championships, set on July 12.

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