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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

AVC Challenge Cup: Vietnam brushes off Kazakhstan to retain crown

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Nguyen Thi Bich Tuyen led defending champion Vietnam to a resounding victory over Kazakhstan to clinch the the gold medal in the 2024 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Challenge Cup on Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Nguyen scored an impressive 29 points as Vietnam triumphed in straight sets, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22, to retain their crown.

The match lasted 84 minutes, with the Vietnamese team showcasing their skill and dominance against the tall Kazakhs, who had previously defeated Alas Pilipinas in the semifinals.

The 6’2” Nguyen dominated the game from the start, making eight attack points in the first set alone. She scored three consecutive points towards the end of the opening set, giving Vietnam a 22-13 lead.

In the second set, Nguyen’s precise placement shots secured the set for Vietnam with a 25-22 match point. She then spearheaded a 9-2 rally in the final set, leading Vietnam to their second consecutive AVC Challenge Cup title.

“It was a team effort. Everyone fought together. They did a great job defending the crown,” said team skipper Tran Thi Thanh Thuy.

The Vietnamese flashed their might throughout the tournament, sweeping their four-game assignment in Pool B. They reached the semifinals, where they convincingly defeated Australia, 25-21, 25-19, 25-16, to advance to the finals against Kazakhstan. In their Pool B encounter, Vietnam had also overcome Kazakhstan in four sets, 25-14, 25-19, 14-25, 25-13.

Despite the loss in the finals, Kazakhstan saw a notable performance from Sanna Anarkulova, who contributed 15 points.

Earlier, Alas Pilipinas played confidently to secure the bronze medal by defeating the Australian Volleyroos in straight sets, 25-23, 25-15, 25-7. This historic win marks the first-ever podium finish for the Philippines in the AVC Challenge Cup.


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