DELA NOCHE-IRAYA ENDS 4TH ASIAN U21 BEACH VOLLEY STINT WITH A QUARTERS EXPERIENCE
Jayrack dela Noche and Alexander Iraya bowed out to experienced Thai foes on Wednesday to exit in the quarterfinals of the 4th Asian U21 Beach Volleyball Championships in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.
The Filipino tandem yielded to powerhouse Thailand 3’s Narakorn Chumaphai and Nopphawit Puttharong in straight sets, 18-21, 10-21.
“I am proud of these boys and all I can say at this very moment is I [got goose bumps] all over,” said Carmela “Melay” Gamboa, Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) director and events commission chair who also served as the boys’ coach in the match against the Thais.
The Negrense duo earlier pulled off a hard-earned victory against Australians Connor O’Neill and Ruben Gale in the morning, 15-21, 21-14, 15-10, but the momentum was short-lived after eventually yielding to Thailand 3 on Wednesday afternoon.
In the first salvo, the Filipinos were so close to the Thais down to just one, 17-18, however, their errors and a drop shot by Chumaphai made the Thais bag the set.
Come the second set, Dela Noche and Iraya were down to six points but the Philippines cut it to just three, 8-11, which made the Thais call a timeout.
After the break, the Thais unleashed strong plays, trailing to a 10-2 blast topped by a crosscourt hit by Puttharong that sealed their victory.
Still, it was an impressive campaign for the young Filipino beach volleyball players, who marked their first quarterfinals berth in the tournament.