Every point a problem
For PSL-F2 Logistics Manila coach Moro Branislav, his team “played maximum” against Rexona SESC Rio Tuesday night.
“The players started Christmas for Filipino people,” said the Serbian mentor referring to the jubilation with which every point is met by the crowd at SM Mall of Asia Arena.
But very quickly, in halting English, he dropped one truth bomb: “Whoever team lost one set against PSL does not finish good in this tournament.”
Branislav, brought in just last month to assemble the best possible team in the FIVB Women’s Club Championship, was trying to explain the discrepancy between the seven other clubs in the meet against the local team.
“I repeat, this PSL team of only 25 days playing against one ‘Big League’ team,” Branislav said. “Believe me, every point is a problem. Maybe we won one set but it’s not good result.”
The PSL-F2 Logistics Manila yielded a 25-15, 25-13, 25-20 decision to the 11-time Brazilian league champion in the opener.
But the Filipino club didn’t go without a fight, leading the third 14-7, before Rexona woke up from stupor and restored order onto the court.
“Now hopefully we can still do better next time,” said Branislav, whose charges meet Italian powerhouse team Pomi Casalmaggiore today at 7:30 p.m.
Jaja Santiago and Kim Fajardo each scored three points, while Rachel Anne Daquis, Mika Reyes and Jovelyn Gonzaga had two points apiece against Rexona.
Almost all of the seven Filipino players were sent by Branislav into the game and Fajardo and Santiago were even in the starting lineup.
“This is a foundation for our next games and competitions,” said Daquis. “We fell short because we really lack experience against other teams.”
Meanwhile, Volero Zurich snagged a semifinal seat after scoring a 25-19, 25-15, 25-17 rout of Hisamitsu Springs Kobe Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
It was a second straight victory for the Swiss club in Group B. It will face Vakifbank Istanbul on Thursday to determine rankings in the next round.
Volero Zurich opened up its bid with a win over Bangkok Glass (25-21, 25-19, 25-23).
Volero Zurich overwhelmed Hisamitsu in all departments. The most telling was its 44 attacks against 28 of Hisamitsu. Olesia Rykhliuk topscored with 19 markers, 15 of them on spikes.
Making its side of the court a no-fly zone, Volero Zurich also topped in blocks, making 11 compared to just one by Hisamitsu. Volero Zurich also had more service ace, 3-2.
Hisamitsu Springs absorbed its second defeat after getting a (25-15, 25-15, 29-31, 25-18) beating from Vakifbank Istanbul. With a report from Bong Lozada
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