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Tiebreaker Times

2024 FIVB Challenger Cup

Vietnam earns first Asian medal in FIVB Challenger Cup with win over Belgium


Despite not reaching its ultimate goal of qualifying for the Volleyball Nations League, Vietnam made history on Sunday by becoming the first Asian squad to clinch a medal in the FIVB Challenger Cup.

The Nguyen Thi Bich Tuyen-led Vietnamese side overcame a second-set hiccup to close out Belgium in four sets, 25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17, in the bronze medal match at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

Tuyen, who was limited to 12 points in their semifinal loss to Czechia yesterday, erupted for 35 points and added seven excellent digs to help world No. 32 Vietnam achieve their first-ever victory over a European squad, defeating 13th-ranked Belgium.

The reigning AVC Challenge Cup champions pulled away early in the fourth set, uncorking a 9-1 rally led by Tuyen to transform a slim 9-8 advantage into a wide 18-9 gap, giving them a commanding lead.FIVB-Challenger-2024-Belgium-vs.-Vietnam-T4-6203 Vietnam earns first Asian medal in FIVB Challenger Cup with win over Belgium 2024 FIVB Challenger Cup News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

Belgium tried to close the gap and responded with an 8-4 run, bringing the score to 17-22, but Kaat Cos and Anna Koulberg committed crucial errors that pushed Vietnam to match point. This paved the way for Tuyen to finish off the game with an off-the-block hit.

“I’m very happy for this win and I’m very proud of my teammates. We have good connection and we did well today,” said Vietnam team captain Tran Thi Thanh Thuy.

“Actually, we didn’t have a long time preparing together, practicing together. But I’m very proud of them because they share information with each other. I think that is the important thing for my team,” she added.

Nguyen Thi Trinh contributed 10 points, all from attacks, while Thuy chipped in seven points in the victory.FIVB-Challenger-2024-Belgium-vs.-Vietnam-Manon-Stragier-6511 Vietnam earns first Asian medal in FIVB Challenger Cup with win over Belgium 2024 FIVB Challenger Cup News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

#ReadMore  Vietnam star T4 praises Jia De Guzman’s playmaking

On the other hand, Manon Stragier led the way for Belgium with 14 points and 14 excellent digs, while Pauline Martin and Britt Fransen added 13 and 11 points in the loss.

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