After a disappointing loss last night, Vakifbank Istanbul still salvaged a spot in the semifinals of the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship after thrashing Bangkok Glass 25-19, 25-23, 25-18 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Turkish side still sought for form as the match began. Vakifbank’s service reception was still cumbersome at times but their height and power advantage overwhelmed the Thais who tried to keep the match at a high tempo. The Turks pulled away in the first frame through a 5-0 run built on blocks and transitions that gave them a 23-17 lead.
Vakifbank coach Giovanni Guidetti decided to shuffle his lineup in the second set, giving ample playing time to his younger players. Dutch opposite Lonneke Slöetjes still led her squad in the second frame, scoring twice to put Istanbul up 24-23. A clutch block from Akman Kubra gave the Turks 2-0 set lead.
Bangkok Glass got a boost from open hitter Wilavan Apinyapong who led a 4-2 blitz that gave the Thais a momentary 13-12 lead but the Turks took control from there, using a 7-0 run to breakaway from an 18-all tie and take the match.
“It’s always fascinating when I play against a team from Thailand. Even if they lack in centimeters, they can still play at this level. It just goes to show that, in volleyball, technique is much more important than height,” gushed Guidetti.
Vakifbank skipper Gozde Kirdar tallied 11 points while Slöetjes added 17. Wilavan notched 14 markers for the Thais.
Bangkok now slides into the loser’s bracket where they will be competing for fifth place. They face Rexona-Sesc tomorrow morning.
Vakifbank (2-1) takes on Turkish rivals Ezcasibasi Vitra (2-0) for the right to enter the Finals.
“Ezcasibasi is one of the best teams in Europe. Tomorrow, it’s gonna come down details and who’s hungrier for the win,” added Guidetti.
Vakifbank (3) – Slöetjes 17, Kirdar 11, Hill 9, Zhu 8, Akman 7, Durul 4, Yurtdagülen 4, Rasic 3, Gürkaynak 2, Cetin 0, Ozbay 0, Aykac (L), Örge (L)
Bangkok Glass (0) – Apinyapong 14, Thinkaow 8, Phengvechai 6, Frazier 5, Nguyen 4, Montripila 3, Bundasak 0, Guedpard 0, Changkeaw (L), Kodrueang (L)