Thai star Pleumjit Thinkaow lauds improvement of PH team, sees Pinay spikers contending in SEAG
Thai star Pleumjit Thinkaow lauded the PH team for its improvement, especially on defense. Jaime Campos

BINAN, Laguna — Philippines proved no match to Asian powerhouse Thailand when they faced each other in the quarterfinals of the 19th AVC Asian Women’s Senior Championship on Tuesday.

But despite the straight-set loss, the Filipina spikers still earned the respect of Thai star Pleumjit Thinkaow.

Thailand walloped the Philippines, 25-21, 25-14, 25-20, at the Alonte Sports Arena here, but it was a close contest at the start of the first two sets. The Philippines even took a slim lead in the first frame, 17-16, and led 5-3 in the second set before the 10-time Southeast Asian Games defending champion imposed its might in the third set to end the contest.

“Philippine team they are better from before,” said Thinkaow. “Its receive and defense system was very good.”

[See Thais ease past Filipinas and into semifinals of Asian women’s volleyball]

Thinkaow, who has been in the Thailand national team since 2001, believes that the Pinay spikers are on the right track heading into the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur next week.

The Philippines even pulled off a big upset over 2015 SEA Games silver medalist Vietnam on Monday.

“I think they can give a good fight in every team heading into the SEA Games,” said Thainkaow.

Philippines is bracketed with Vietnam and Malaysia in the biennial meet.

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