AWCC: China dominates as Foton Pilipinas left to battle for 5th
BIÑAN CITY—Foton Pilipinas rammed as hard as it could, but there was no breaking down the Great Wall of China.
Ba’yi Shengzeng of China hammered out a 25-16, 25-18, 25-14 victory yesterday to march into the semifinals of the Asian Volleyball Confederation Women’s Club Championships at Alonte Sports Arena here.
The unbeaten Chinese squad, which edged defending champion Bangkok Glass in the classification phase, will advance against the winner between Altay VC of Kazakhstan and Sarmayeh Bank of Iran match later Friday.
The Philippines, which suffered its fourth defeat, is now relegated to the battle for fifth and sixth places against the loser between the Kazakhstan-Iran match.
“We are proud of how we fought,” said American import Lindsay Stalzer who was playing despite a hurting back. “But China is a very disciplined team and its basic skills are flawless. We are lacking in that area a bit.”
The Chinese showed cutting-edge efficiency, always at the right spot at the right time. They didn’t take chances and engaged the hosts, unloading 46 attacks against the Tornadoes’ 25.
“We played very well today, we prepared hard because this game is so important for us,” said Chinese top player Liu Yan Han.
Liu, who finished with 19 points, was Most Valuable Player when the country hosted the Asian U23 last year.
The hosts tried very hard to keep the match close. With some few brilliant plays, the Tornadoes took the lead briefly in the second set, 4-2, but still fell short in the end.
“I’m happy because we gave it a good fight,” said Foton Pilipinas stalwart Aby Maraño. “Even if they were leading by 10 points, we showed we were not scared of them.”
“They are a powerhouse team but we were able to play defense,” said Jovelyn Gonzaga. “We gave it our best.”
In another quarterfinal match, NEC Red Rockets of Japan trounced T. Grand of Chinese Taipei, 25-6, 25-23, 25-13. It will battle the winner between Thongtin Lien Viet Bank and Bangkok Glass.