Thailand volleyball has been lording over the Southeast Asian region for more than a decade. They took gold in the last 10 SEA Games, winning 12 overall in the biennial meet, and is the only nation in the region to make world-level competitions.
In the past, Thailand-Philippines matches conclude easily, with the Thais going over quickly. But in the 19th Asian Senior Women’s Championship, the match turned out more eventful.
Drawing energy from the ruckus Alonte Sports Arena crowd, the Philippines gave the visitors a scare. Still, the Philippines fell in straight sets.
Having faced the Philippines numerous times, even Thailand’s veterans saw major improvements in the Pinay.
Thailand skipper Pleumjit Thinkaow noticed the increased work-rate of the Pinays.
“They work so much harder on the court. They definitely have gotten better,” shared the veteran middle blocker.
Fiery Wilavan Apinyapong gushed about the Philippines’ development. She thinks this was a result of the Philippines’ continued participation in international competitions.
“I think they improved a lot. Every skill – block, attack, and teamwork – better than before.
“I think this is because, last two years, they’ve been going to competitions,” expressed the veteran open hitter. “For example, in AVC they come now. Many years ago, Philippines sometimes come, sometimes no. They have gained so much more experience now.”
Both players agreed that the Philippines definitely has a unique passion for the sport. They were even surprised that they were recognized by the Filipino fans.
“For me, very happy to come to play in the Philippines. Many fans here come to support our team,” Wilavan commented.
“Yesterday, we played against Japan and Philippine fans were really cheering for us and that makes us feel like we’re playing at home.”
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