Thais wrap up Japan trip with disappointing defeat
Thailand’s Thatdao Nuekjang, left, and Ajcharaporn Kongyot.
Thailand’s experiment with their second string side ended in disappointment as they suffered their third straight loss in the third of week of the FIVB Women’s World Grand Prix preliminaries, going 3-0 down to Serbia in Kyoto yesterday.
Looking for their third win in this year’s World Grand Prix, Thailand found world No.6 Serbia too tough to handle and lost 25-18, 25-20, 25-20.
Thailand, ranked 13th in the world, started well in every set but failed to keep the momentum going, losing the plot towards the end each time when the Serbs mounted the pressure.
Thailand coach Danai Sriwacharamaytakul said: “We did play well but there was a drop in our form in the later part of every set. It is sad we could not hold on to win a set.
“All credit to Serbia, who put on a high quality show. Their blocks, defence and counter-attacks were all well executed and we could not match them.
“We had to fight for every point as it was really difficult to steal one from them.”
Despite the loss, the coach said his young players had gained valuable experience from participating in the preliminaries and that they will be an improved side when they compete in the Finals in Bangkok next week.
“What we need to correct before the Finals is how to receive the first ball,” Danai added.
Thailand captain Wilavan Apinyapong claimed her team had improved during the nine-match preliminary round and added that they would get better in the future.
Thailand, who earlier beat Germany 3-1 and Italy 3-2, finished with five points from nine matches.
The five teams joining hosts Thailand at the World Grand Prix Finals in Bangkok will be Brazil, the Netherlands, the United States, China and Russia.
The USA topped the standings after blanking China 25-19, 25-21, 25-17 yesterday.