Gibraltar started with a fast paced outlook taking the early lead within minutes to 3-1. Thailand their opponents were evenly matched and clawed back the deficit to equalize at 3-3 and then take the lead at 5-4.
With both teams of a similar height both were playing their own game with no fears over the reach factor that had affected their matches against Hong Kong and Malaysia.
A very contested first quarter saw Gibraltar turn around the score and bring it back to 7-5 then going to 9-5.
A very confident Gibraltar did not ease the pace extending their lead to six points at 11-5, then seven at 13-6.
The first quarter ended Gibraltar 14-8 Thailand as Gibraltar looked for that big first win in their debut.
Assisted by Dennis Ellis the Gibraltar Coach Sarah Payas gave her girls instructions for the second quarter. The match attracted more interest than other matches with a handful of Gibraltar fans present.
Gibraltar started the second quarter on fire going to 20-8 with Ferrer on top form.
Gibraltar were playing to get closer to the post playing with patience but a fast paced game. Controlling possession their quick one touch pass was playing dividends as they went to 23-9.
Strong defending took Gibraltar to 23-9.
With Claire Nunez in for injured Janice Moreno Gibraltar was still combining well between levels. Quick passing making the difference. Accuracy in shooting ensuring Gibraltar continued to extend their lead to 26-10.
Moving the hall fluidly Gibraltar went to 27-10 before Joelle Moreno was flattened with a big hit. Holly Greig came on.
Gibraltar made it 30-12 with a minute to go. Gibraltar finished second quarter at 31-13.
Gibraltar started strong again in 3rd quarter going further ahead to 34-13. Ferrer, Pozo and Nunez combining very well up front.
The defense playing a key role with strong play.
It was a well balanced match with every ball fought for by both teams. Gibraltar were showing though their fast movement with the ball was very much their strength and making it work.
Some moments with Thailand defending saw Rovengo, Ocana and Reyes solidly defending with some good interceptions. Thailand cut the gap to 34-16 halfway through the quarter. Before Gibraltar bounced back again now Megan Martinez in for Pozo.
Gibraltar made changes Reyes going off for Amy Valverde due to injury. The Gib team were not adversely affected by the changes all the players showing they were very capable.
Nunez was the next flattened in what was a tough hard fought match. With the team settling in they lost a bit of ground the score going to 35-19. Megan Martinez soon added the point. Valverde with an intercept and Ocana with a block and Gibraltar were back on track in their game going to 37-19. Ending the quarter at 37-20.
With Reyes coming back on Gibraltar made changes as Rovengo swapped positions with Ocana taking the GK. Pozo was back in too. Neither of the Moreno sister were playing now.
Points were harder to come by in the first part of the quarter with Thailand fighting back and going to 40-24 within five minutes.
Pozo was injured and had to go off with Megan Martinez back in.
Gibraltar kept up the pace and sweeping across court went to 41-25 halfway through the last quarter. Thailand though continued to fight back as tiredness started to show the pace slowing and accuracy in shooting faltering at this stage.
This gave Thailand more opportunities as they got their thirty points. Gibraltar leading by eleven now.
Gibraltar secured their final five minutes battling against tiredness after what was a fast match following a long journey and two previous grueling matches against top opponents.
Gibraltar won their first match of the tournament and tomorrow play the 3rd and fourth place against the same opponents. Tomorrow’s result could provide Gibraltar a push in the rankings.
Gibraltar beat Thailand 43-34.
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