Asian Games: Philippines’ ‘inexperience’ showed in loss to Thailand, says Valdez
JAKARTA—The Philippine women’s volleyball team marked its return to Asian Games action on Sunday afternoon by getting a clinical dismantling from regional power Thailand.
The straight sets loss certainly leaves a bad taste in the mouth, considering that people back home are expecting more from this glamorous all-star team to do better, never mind if it hasn’t played at this level in the last 36 years.
It should, at the very least, dampen the spirits of the members of the team.
But not Alyssa Valdez.
“The talent is there, you all saw that we can play with them,” Valdez told the Inquirer Sunday night, referring to a close first set shave the had the Filipinos blowing a 9-2 lead before losing, 25-22. “But our inexperience playing together as a team told heavily in the end.”
Valdez believes that they are a work in progress and that nothing but success will follow if the powers-that-be in the sport will continue to keep them together and expose them to high-caliber tournaments.
The volleybelles return to action Tuesday afternoon, playing another force in Japan this time as they hunt for that one win in group action that will shove them to the next round and make this trip worth it.
“This is a good experience for us because we know we can beat Thailand,” coach Shaq delos Santos told Filipino scribes. “But we’re still in the process of rebuilding and hopefully, our performance improves as we go along.”
And because it is experience and cohesion that this team is looking for, Delos Santos actually played all of his charges against the Thais, who dominated with impunity in the last two sets and ended the Filipinos’ agony in just over 70 minutes.
Valdez knows that’s important for a team as young as they are while admitting that they’re really here for a goal they need to accomplish next year.
“We have to know what we’re playing against, and experiencing it first hand means a lot,” she said.
“Hopefully, we still have time,” Valdez said of the target, which is actually to beat the Thais next year in the Philippines and end their stranglehold of the Southeast Asian Games gold. “If we can get the experience, who knows?
“Because in most cases, in tight games, the experienced teams almost always prevail.”
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