Philippines shows promise despite losses to Indonesia, Thailand in Asean Grand Prix
NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand—Finally, after all the hoopla involving its formation, the Philippine women’s volleyball team got to know how it stood in the scheme of things.
Its heart-breaking five-set defeat at the hands of Indonesia, 25-21, 26-28, 12-25, 25-18, 15-9, in Friday’s Asean Grand Prix opener gave a glimpse of what the much-followed squad is capable of doing.
“You know we are a strong team, we have our definite strengths and weaknesses so we were able to get through and show what we are made of and what we can do well,” said top spiker Kalei Mau.
“But you know it’s not how you started, it’s how you finished so I thought, obviously Indonesia wanted it more,” added the FIl-American open hitter, who scored 15 points versus Indonesia.
For starting libero Dawn Macandili, the game revealed how little they know each other on court.
“They (Indonesia) are not that tough, but I think we need to develop chemistry on the court,” said Macandili.
Head coach Shaq delos Santo said he is thankful of the outcome because its showed team’s character which is essential in its quest to medal in the coming Southeast Asian Games.
“The coaching staff is very proud of the players because they gave everything they got,” he said. “We just fell short. We need this kind of exposure and finally to get get completed.”
The Philippines missed the services of key players Alyssa Valdez and Mika Reyes who are recuperating from minor injuries and will join the team in the coming training camps.
Mau also felt that the team was coming in hot because of the short time they were allowed to warm up inside the busy Terminal 21Mall courts.
“I thought we didn’t really got off to a good start for the game. We’ re actually starting to with a super crunchtime of a warm up,” said Mau. “I didn’t actually got to to my pre-game ritual, every thing was kinda off from the beginning.”
She added: “And the girls, we just didn’t have the energy going into the match. So I think the next game we gotta change that if they’re gonna give us a little bit of time to warm up or we probably gotta do that on our own before we get here.”
The Philippines went on to drop its second game in a row but the team went down swinging before yielding a 25-13, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20 loss to perennial Southeast Asian Games champion Thailand Saturday afternoon.
Mau paced the Filipinas anew with 12 points against the Thais.
The Nationals hope to end their campaign on a winning note against Vietnam on Sunday.
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