Lady spikers lose steam vs Aussies
Team Philippines started with fire in its eyes but unfortunately lost steam after the second set to yield to Australia on Sunday night in the opener of the AVC Asian Cup women’s championship in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
With Alyssa Valdez and Aby Maraño at the helm, the Filipinos played full speed to stun the Australians in the first two sets, but the taller, stronger enemy made its move en route to a 21-25, 21-25, 26-24, 25-16, 15-10 come-from-behind triumph.
The Philippines, ranked 79th in the world, shocked the world No. 42 with off-tangent shots coming from different directions to put the Australian defense in disarray.
Quickly, the Filipinos were just a set away from its biggest victory ever since they returned to the world stage.
But it wasn’t meant to be as the Australians, led by Rachel Rourke made her moves from behind the net, hitting and blocking, to snatch the third set.
By that time, the Australians already knew where the shots were coming from, and started blockage on Valdez’s firing line, scoring six blocks in the fourth.
There were no counter adjustments on the Philippine bench even as Australia took control.
Instead, the Filipinos abandoned net defense and relied on floor coverage.
With Maraño on the bench too long, the Philippines threw away running attacks and decided to live by the open hitters. —MARC ANTHONY REYES