PH volleybelles shoot for silver medal
Team Philippines wilted amid the crushing force of Thailand, 25-12, 25-16, 25-10, on Saturday night, but despite the loss, the Nationals are confident of nailing the silver medal in the second leg of the Asean Volleyball Grand Prix.
National coach Shaq delos Santos said the “most important game for us here is against Indonesia on Sunday. Because we played a good game against them in Thailand.”
He was referring to the first leg when Indonesia scraped by with a five-set win over the Philippines, 25-21, 26-28, 12-25, 25-18, 15-9.
With a 1-1 record, a victory over Indonesia at 5 p.m. would mean a second place finish in the four-nation tournament that serves as test for the Southeast Asian Games competitions.
Earlier, Indonesia outplayed Vietnam, 29-27, 25-20, 23-25, 25-17 to tie the Philippines with a 1-1 card.
“We will just keep pushing and playing very hard,” Delos Santos added.
They indeed did their best given that four key players, Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Maddie Madayag, were out in Iloilo playing for their club teams right about the same time in the Premier Volleyball League.
They are all expected to plane in just in time for the match against the Indonesians.
But their absence on Saturday left the Philippines with a 10-man rotation against the SEA Games powerhouse, which rightfully chose to treat the Nationals as equals and went full throttle till the end.
Pleumjit Thinkaow and Pimpichaya Kokram tormented the Philippines no end en route to the rout for the Thais’ second straight victory.
They play winless Vietnam in the first game on Sunday in a formality for wrapping up the gold medal.
Unlike in the first leg meeting where the country managed to steal a set, the Philippines ran out of ammunition against the Thai juggernaut.
Grethcel Soltones, Jasmine Nabor and Roselyn Doria made the most of the minutes they were given and lent help to Mylene Paat, Aby Maraño, Ces Molina and Majoy Baron.
Thailand also swept the competition to claim the first leg two weeks ago in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Meanwhile, after losing their opening match in straight sets to first leg champion Thailand, the Indonesians pulled this one out through the efforts of top spiker Arsela Nuari Purnama.