June 25, 2024

AVC: Bich Tuyen Nguyen fires 30 as Vietnam staves off Kazakhstan for 3-0 start

AVC: Bich Tuyen Nguyen fires 30 as Vietnam staves off Kazakhstan for 3-0 start
Bich Tuyen Nguyen buoys Vietnam over Kazakhstan. | Photo (c) RM Chua/One Sports

Vietnam remains unblemished in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women after fending off the tough challenge of Kazakhstan, 25-14, 25-19, 14-25, 25-23, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila on Friday, May 24.


Bich Tuyen Nguyen showcased her prolific form once again with 30 points on 26 attacks, three blocks, and an ace for the defending champions, who moved a win away from securing a semifinal spot in Pool B with a 3-0 record.


Nguyen came up clutch in the fourth set, where both teams engaged in a seesaw affair that resulted in a deadlock at 20. She delivered the differential hit that pushed Vietnam ahead, 23-21 before Sana Anarkulova committed a costly attack error for match point.


Zhanna Syroyeshkina and Kristina Anikonova scored in succession to resuscitate Kazakhstan, but Nguyen slammed the door shut with an off-the-block hit.


“We didn’t have a game against Kazakhstan for a long time, like six years. This time, when we played against them they are really tall and strong, so they are a little bit intimidating,” said reigning MVP Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, who missed her third straight game due to a knee injury.


“But our team did pretty well today. I’m very proud.”


Thanh Thuy Le supplemented nine points for Vietnam, while Trinh Hoang and Trinh Nguyen pitched in eight markers apiece.


Kazakhstan, meanwhile, dropped to 1-1 in the standing.


Anarkulova paced the losing side with 21 points, while Yuliya Yakimova managed 12 markers.


Vietnam will aim to sweep Pool B when it takes on Indonesia on Sunday at 10:00 a.m., while Kazakhstan will try to get back on track when it faces Indonesia on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.


In the opening match of the day, Iran barged into the win column after piling up on the woes of Chinese Taipei with a hard-earned four-set victory, 24-26, 25-20, 25-18, 28-26.


Aytak Salamatgharamaleki spearheaded the winning effort with 23 points, all but one coming from attacks, to help the Iranians improve their record to 1-1 in Pool B.


Elaheh Poorsaleh pitched in 18 points, while Reyhane Karimi tallied 11 markers.


“It was necessary to keep calm. We do not have much experience, but now that we’re in our second match, we watched their movements and we listened to all that coach said,” said setter Dorsa Fallahkordkheli.


“Most of our team is young. We develop our experience every match so that we can improve. We believe in ourselves and we try to be better every game.”


Chinese Taipei, on the other hand, suffered its third loss in as many outings.


Hsu Fang-Min poured 21 points that went for naught, as Lin Liang-Tai and Huang Chun-Jia scored 11 apiece in the losing cause.


Iran will next face host country Philippines on Saturday at 7:00 p.m., while Chinese Taipei will try to bounce back against the Philippines as well on Sunday at 7:00 p.m.


Meanwhile, Indonesia chalked up its breakthrough victory after orchestrating a beatdown of Singapore, 25-14, 25-13, 25-14.

 

The Indonesians barely faced any resistance, with the trio of Sabrina Agustina, Junaida Santi, and Putri Agustin dictating the tempo.


Agustina spearheaded the scoring thrust with 15 points as her side hiked to a 1-1 standing in Pool B. Santi and Agustin pitched in 12 and 11 markers, respectively.


Singapore, on the other hand, endured its third straight defeat in as many matches.


No Singaporean breached double figures, as Natali Lai paced the losing side with eight points.


Indonesia will gun for its second win when it collides with Kazakhstan, while Singapore will attempt to end its run of futility against Hong Kong on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., respectively.