Jay Rack Dela Noche and Alexander Iraya dropped a 12-21, 14-21 decision to Thailand 2’s Netitorn Muneekul and Wachirawit Muadpha to open the country’s campaign in the Fourth Asian U21 Beach Volleyball Championships in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, on Tuesday.
The seventh-seeded Filipinos kept the match close early in the second set only to lose steam against the sharper Thais, who clinched a spot in the quarterfinals via a 2-0 (won-lost) sweep of Pool B.
Seeded 10th in the 12-team tournament, Thailand 2 earlier scored a 21-19, 21-14 win over the second-seeded Australian pair of Ruben Gale and Connor O’Neill in last Monday’s opener.
Dela Noche and Iraya must beat Gale and O’Neill at 9 a.m. (Manila time) on Wednesday to make it to the top eight.
“Eto na yung huling pagkakataon namin. Sana manalo kami at kailangan namin ang inyong mga dasal,” Iraya said.
The tournamnent acts as a qualifier for the FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball Championships in Roi Et also in Thailand, set from September 24 to 29.
De la Noche and Iraya are both standouts from University of Santo Tomas high school program They made their international debut in the Third Asian U19 Beach Volleyball Championships last week.
Philippine National Volleyball Federation partners Philippine Sports Commission and Rebisco are both supporting their participation.