Thai volleyball team hope for turnaround in fortunes

Thailand coach Danai Sriwacharamaytakul, centre, talks to his players during the match against Germany in Bangkok last week. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Thailand hope to bounce back from a disappointing third week as they take on Asian rivals South Korea in the inaugural FIVB Nations League at Chatchai Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima on Tuesday.

Japan play Turkey in the first Pool 15 game in the fourth week of action at the same venue.

Coach Danai Sriwacharamaytakul will have a huge task on his hands as he tries to rally his troops, who lost all three matches against the Dominican Republic, Germany and the United States in Bangkok last week.

They will face a Korean team determined to rebound as well following three straight defeats in Apeldoor, the Netherlands, last week.

"The team always play well in Korat [Nakhon Ratchasima]," said Danai, who, along with the players, paid their respects to Thao Suranaree at her statue in the northeastern province on Sunday.

"Maybe it's because we always pay our respects to 'Ya Mo' [Thao Suranaree] whenever we're here and that lifts everybody's spirit.

"Hopefully the fans will come out to give us support. We will try to do our best in all three matches and make the fans happy."

Thailand are 14th in the 16-team standings with just six points from two wins and seven losses.

South Korea are ninth on 11 points, from four wins and five losses, Japan are 10th with the same number of points and win-loss record but have inferior points ratio. Turkey are the highest-ranked team at No.5 in Pool 15 after six wins and three losses.

The United States, who lost just one match so far, top the table with 25 points, from five wins against one loss. Brazil (8-1) are second on 24 points while Serbia (8-1), on 23 points, are third. The Netherlands (7-2) and Turkey (6-3) round off the top five.

The 2018 FIVB Women's Nations League, a new annual international tournament contested by 16 teams, has replaced the World Grand Prix.

The top-five teams from the league rounds will join hosts China in the final round in Nanjing.

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