Coach positive after Foton’s 6th place finish in Thailand
FOTON Pilipinas’ Italian coach Fabio Menta gave his team a passing grade after its recent stint in a Thai club tournament where it placed sixth.
“We’re quite positive,” said Menta. “We played against quicker, more experienced players and gave court time to our younger Filipino players.”
But Menta remained mum on the team’s goal to reach the semifinals of the Asian Volleyball Confederation Women’s Club Championship on Sept. 3 to 11 at Alonte Sports Center in Biñan, Laguna.
“If you consider that we only worked together for two weeks without two key players (Jaja Santiago and Jovelyn Gonzaga), coming back home with two victories is already a great result.”
The Tornadoes finished with a 2-3 record, scoring victories against Thai collegiate teams and losing to club teams.
“We need more solid blocking and consistency in the quick plays,” he said. “When we are disciplined at the block, all correlations would work fine.”
Foton Pilipinas yielded to EPA Sisaket, which was led by Thai stars Nootsara Tomkom and Pleumjit Thinkaow.
The Tornadoes also dropped a four-setter to Asian champion Bangkok Glass but regained their bearing with wins over Rangsit University and Kasetsart U.
They lost to 3BB Nokhonnont in its final battle.
Lindsay Stalzer and Ariel Usher, as well as players from other teams in the Philippine Superliga, beef up the Tornadoes.
The Asian Clubs will be a lot tougher, though.
Ba’yi Army Shenzheng of China will parade Asian U-23 MVP Liu Yanhan and Olympic star Yuan Xinyue, while Bangkok Glass will be led by Vietnamese middle blocker Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hoa and American wing spiker Ashley Frazier.
NEC Red Rockets of Japan boasts sensational spiker Sarina Koga and Olympic star Haruyo Shimamura.
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