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Power Pinoys face tough Iraq squad

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 04:44 AM April 10, 2014

TAESUKE Kimura (left) of Japan soars for a kill in the game against Iran. RODEL ROTONI

Pumped up and motivated, the Philippines seeks to formalize its entry to the quarterfinals when it tangles with Iraq in the Asian Men’s Volleyball Club Championship at Mall of Asia Arena.

Their confidence boosted by a straight-set conquest of Mongolia last Tuesday, the PLDT HOME TVolution Power Pinoys remain the underdogs in the 12 noon duel with seventh seed South Glass Sports Club.

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“We’re not promising to win but we’ll play hard,” said Power Pinoys coach Francis Vicente. “We’re not intimidated by their record or reputation.”

A victory will give the Power Pinoys the top seeding from the three-team Pool A heading into the next round.

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Australian import Cedric Legrand sparkled with 18 hits in the 25-16, 25-23, 25-16 triumph over Mongolia. But while the Power Pinoys looked in control for most of the match, Legrand expressed concern over their second set performance where they allowed the Mongolians to rally.

“We kind of took our foot off the pedal and we just can’t afford to do that against the big teams,” said Legrand whose output also included three blocks.

Vicente believes his squad’s ability to pull off the upset will also hinge on the performance of the team’s other import, William Lewis, and the power-hitting Alnakran Abdilla.

The former De la Salle Dasmariñas standout fired 12 hits against the Mongolians.

Meanwhile, nine-time champion Iran, represented this time by Matin Varamin, opened its campaign in style, walloping Japan’s Miyoshi Weisse Adler, 25-18, 21-25, 25-13, 25-22 in Pool C.

Underscoring their might, the Iranians unleashed a balanced attack that saw four players, led by Mousavi Seyed, breach double figures in attack points.

Later, Kazakhstan’s Kondensat notched its second straight win in Pool C at the expense of Turkmenistan, 25-17, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22.

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Oman, represented by Sohar, debuted on a winning note, rallying past Green Dragon of Hong Kong, 14-25, 25-14, 25-12, 25-20. Turkmenistan and Hong Kong fell to 0-2.

Over at the Cuneta Astrodome, China’s Baic Motor outlasted a grittu Chinese Taipei, 20-25,25-18, 25-23, 25-21, for its first victory in Pool D.

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