SEA Games: Cambodia wins historic men’s volleyball bronze after beating Thais
QUANG NINH — Facing mighty Thailand in the third-place volleyball match, Cambodia’s men played one of the best games in their career, shocking their opponent with an intense five-set win at Dai Yen Sports Complex in Quang Ninh Province on Saturday.
The match was exciting from the very first attack, with Thailand continuously taking the lead. However, brilliant form by Cambodia’s Sarun helped his team shorten the gap before completing a great comeback with a narrow 25-23 win in the first set.
Despite the shock loss, Thailand kept their nerve and continued to dominate the second set. Once again, Cambodia fought back fearlessly, but the Thais were more careful this time, shutting the door to another comeback for the men in white and yellow to grab a 25-22 win.
Despite now only being level, the Cambodians didn’t lose their momentum, starting the third set flourishingly with score after score, forcing Thailand to put all efforts into narrowing the gap.
The two teams closely followed each other on every point, but with the high spirit carried from the first set, Cambodia made the most of their chances to win the set 25-22.
Losing another set seemed to hit hurt the Thai’s honor as the fourth set saw Thailand showed why they are still a giant of ASEAN volleyball, squeezing their opponents with a big 25-13 win, leading to the decisive final game.
It looked as though Thailand could beat Cambodia when the men in red maintained a two-score gap for most of the game, but Cambodia seemed to find extra reserves of energy and were able to equalize, leaving Thailand stunned.
And when the opponents were still trying to figure out what was wrong, Cambodia took the lead to seal the set with a narrow 15-13 win, making May 21 a historic day for Cambodian volleyball.
In the corresponding match of the women’s category, Indonesia surpassed the Philippines 25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21 to win the tournament’s bronze medal.
Vietnam will continue their journey for a golden double in volleyball, with clashes against Indonesia and Thailand in the men’s and women’s categories.
The finals will take place on May 22 at Dai Yen Sports Complex, Quang Ninh Province.
SEA Games: Cambodia makes history in volleyball with men’s semis stint
Inquirer’s special coverage of the Hanoi SEA Games 2021.
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