SEA Games 2023

PH slips to 4th straight SEA Games women’s volley bronze match off Thai rout

JR Isaga

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PH slips to 4th straight SEA Games women’s volley bronze match off Thai rout

SHUT DOWN. Philippine women's volleyball team middle blockers Ced Domingo and Dell Palomata line up for a substitution at the 2023 Southeast Asian Games

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PVL teammates Celine Domingo and Tots Carlos fuel the Philippines' first-set upset bid, leading to powerhouse Thailand staging a two-frame beatdown to complete the SEA Games finals-clinching win

MANILA, Philippines – For the fourth straight time in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games women’s volleyball, the Philippines is moving down to the bronze match after a straight-set beatdown at the hands of 28-year defending champion Thailand, 25-22, 25-9, 25-12, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Saturday, May 13.

With the loss, the Filipinas are still in contention for their first podium finish in 18 years and will face either Vietnam or Indonesia in the bronze-medal match on Sunday, May 14, 6 pm (Manila time).

Thailand, meanwhile, rises to its 17th straight gold-medal duel dating back to 1989.

PVL teammates Tots Carlos and Celine Domingo led the Philippines’ first-set upset bid, which reached a late 22-all deadlock before two Pimpichaya Kokram kills and an anticlimactic Jia de Guzman setting error completed Thailand’s 3-0 finishing surge for the opening win.

Likely sweating off the Filipinas’ unexpected opening rally, Kokram took matters into her own hands in righting the Thai ship, hammering down four straight kills for a 4-0 burst that the Philippines eventually never recovered from.

The Filipinas only got as near as 8-3 before Thailand effectively shut down the set for good with another 8-0 burst for the 16-3 advantage and an eventual 25-9 ending.

Following Kokram’s lead, fellow international star Chatchu-on Moksri then had her own scoring barrage to open the third set, scoring 4 of Thailand’s first 7 points in a 7-2 opening swing.

Eventually, Kokram again took the endgame reins with the Philippines’ comeback hopes all but gone, as she buried 4 of her team’s final 5 kills to seal the sweep and yet another SEA Games finals appearance.

Amid the beatdown, Philippine head coach Jorge de Brito opted to not field team captain Alyssa Valdez, who was coming off a triumphant return from a major knee injury against Singapore last Thursday, May 11. –

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