Korean star Kim takes notice of PH volleybelles’ improvement
BIÑAN, Laguna—Korea captain Kim Yeon-koung had played just 10 minutes during the group stages of the AVC Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship so it came as a huge surprise when she stepped up against the host in the classification stages.
Kim sat out the first two games in the preliminaries as she got permission from Korea head coach Hong Sungjin to take a breather after just competing in the FIVB World Grand Prix.
The Fenerbahce outside hitter, though, told Hong that she was ready to play against the Philippines in their first game in the classification round.
“I spoke with our coach and he said to be ready for the game so I told him that I was ready,” said Kim Sunday at Alonte Sports Arena.
Kim played late against Vietnam in Korea’s final group stage game as she entered the match in the fourth set to lead the 10th-ranked team in the world to a 25-23, 25-19, 17-25, 25-22 win.
Against the Philippines, however, Kim was thrust much earlier when she entered the floor near the end of the first set when the Filipinos were attempting to break the Koreans in the opening period.
Kim would finish of the first set and eventually lead the Koreans to a sweep, 25-23, 25-18, 25-12.
“It was close in the first set and in the beginning of the second set so I expected to play,” said Kim who had 12 points against the Philippines.
The Philippines were leading 10-7 in the second set when Kim made her second appearance, and for good measure she started the third set for Korea.
And even though she led the beating, Kim had high praise for the Philippines.
“I think they are so much better now, I saw them like two or three years ago and they did not play like that,” said Kim of the 79th-ranked Philippines in the FIVB world rankings. “I mean, they’ve improved a lot especially that they are very young. I’m sure they can improve after this.”
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