2023 AVC Challenge Cup winners Thailand (source: asianvolleyball.net)

2023 AVC Challenge Cup winners Thailand (source: asianvolleyball.net)

The men’s national team of Thailand will compete at the upcoming 2023 Volleyball Challenger Cup, whose champions will earn the right to compete in Volleyball Nations League 2024. They topped the podium at the 2023 AVC Challenge Cup tournament, which finished on Saturday in Chinese Taipei. It was a historic success for the Thai team. They had never won the Asian Challenge Cup before and will participate in the Volleyball Challenger Cup for the first time.

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In Saturday’s final, Thailand hammered out an emphatic 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-16) shutout of Bahrain to celebrate the trophy. Spiking at a 67% success rate, Napadet Bhinijdee contributed 18 points, including three aces and a kill block, towards the victory, while his teammates Anut Promchan and Anurak Phanram added 16 and 10 points, respectively. Mohamed Abdulla Yaqoob led Bahrain’s scorers with 13 points.

The AVC Challenge Cup was held from July 8 through 15 with the participation of 14 teams. Korea completed the podium after a 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 22-25, 25-21) win over Vietnam in the third-place match. Australia, Indonesia, Kazkhstan, Mongolia, Chinese Taipei, Philippines, Hong Kong, Macao, Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia lined up in that order in the places from fifth to 14th.

Thailand’s Anurak Phanram was recognized as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Setter Hwang Taekeui (Korea), opposite Ali Khamis (Bahrain), outside hitters Mohamed Abdulla (Bahrain) and Anut Promchan (Thailand), middle blockers Kissida Nilsawai (Thailand) and Kim Minjae (Korea), and libero Ayman Haroon (Bahrain) were named on the AVC Challenge Cup Dream Team.