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VTL: Manabat’s late surge not enough as Nakhon drops to bronze medal match


Nakhon Ratchasima QminC dropped to the battle for third place after bowing to second-ranked Diamond Food, 19-25, 24-26, 23-25, in the 2021-22 Volleyball Thailand League semifinals, Saturday at the Nimibutr Stadium in Bangkok.

The bronze medal game against the fourth-seeded Khonkaen Star will be tomorrow at 11:45 am (Manila time).

Khonkaen was coming off a brutal 18-25, 10-25, 5-25 beating from undefeated Supreme Chonburi in the semis.

Star went 2-0 against Nakhon Ratchasima in the regular round but the latter prevailed in their playoff ranking round matchup.

Dindin Santiago-Manabat was clutch down the stretch but was not enough to lift Nakhon Ratchasima. She finished with 12 points.

Meanwhile, Mylene Paat led the way with 14 points, however, she was held to just three points in the all-important third salvo.

Already down by two sets, Nakhon Ratchasima started the third frame with much sense of urgency, cruising to an 8-3 lead.

However, Sasipaporn Janthawisut happened. She scored six points in a Diamond Food 9-2 blast to take the 12-10 advantage midway.

With Diamond Food just two points away from the victory, 23-19, Manabat made three points (two off-the-block hits and a service ace) in a 4-1 swing to pull within a point, 23-24.

But Janthiwasut finished off the match with a down-the-line kill as Diamond Food advanced to the Final.

Leanny Castañeda dominated Nakhon Ratchasima in the first two sets with 13 points to end with 16 in the match.

Janthiwasut and Kaewkalaya Kamuthala owned the final period with seven points apiece to finish with 18 and 13, respectively.

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