Kazakhstan weathers Foton-PH test, hammers out 3-set victory
BIÑAN CITY—Altay VC of Kazakhstan survived Foton Pilipinas’ explosive start, using its edge in height and maturity to score a 27-25, 25-18, 25-21 victory over Foton Pilipinas yesterday in the Asian Volleyball Confederation Women’s Club Championships.
The defeat of the Tornadoes pushed them to a tough knockout quarterfinal match against either Ba’Yi Shengzeng or defending champion Bangkok Glass.
Foton nearly pulled off a win that would have given them a lighter quarterfinal foe, riding the energy of a loud Alonte Coliseum crowd to lead 16-11 and 20-16 in the opening set.
But Altay VC kept its poise and made key adjustments to overturn a 22-20 hole with solid defense and timely drop shots.
“I think we played very well, they are taller and has more experience but we kept the game close,” said Foton Pilipinas stalwart Jovelyn Gonzaga. “But we had more errors I made one of them when I twisted a spike.”
The rest of the Tornadoes had 10 errors in that stretch, including five straight when the Kazakhs’ sealed the opening set. In comparison, the Kazakhs’ made five errors.
“The Philippines is a good team. It is an interesting team. We were surprised,” admitted Altay VC team captain Inna Matveyeva who made 11 points.
Coach Canbolat Burhan Saik, who was given red card for excessive complaining, was also gracious for the host, saying “I congratulate the Philippines, this is their best game of the tournament.”
Foton Pilipinas coach Fabio Menta agreed but rued about his team’s lack of discipline. “I’m still quite satisfied because we lost and we lost well.”
Lindsay Stalzer, who had back spasms, and Jaja Santiago, who was scheduled to play in another tournament, showed up for Foton, giving the Tornadoes a full squad.