Philippines goes winless in Asean Grand Prix, loses to Indonesia anew
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine women’s volleyball team suffered a winless 2022 Asean Grand Prix campaign, surrendering the bronze medal to Indonesia, 24-26, 22-25, 23-25, on Sunday at Chatchai Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
Megawati Hangestri Pertiwi, once again, proved to be a thorn in the side of the Philippines as she drilled the crucial blows to win another bronze medal game against the Filipinos.
Indonesia has been the Philippines’ tormentor since the last two Southeast Asian Games with the former beating the Filipinos in the battle for third place in the 2019 edition in Manila and this year’s 31st Hanoi, Vietnam games.
The Indonesians finished the three-day tournament with one win in three matches and made the podium as consolation after failing to sustain their previous back-to-back runner-up finishes in the first two legs three years ago.
The Philippine national team, composed of the Creamline Cool Smashers, lost all of its three matches for its worst finish in the Asean Grand Prix after winning a pair of bronze medals in the 2019 edition.
After losing the first two sets, Jema Galanza and Michele Gumabao kept the Philippines afloat in the third, nailing the timely hits before Tots Carlos gave their squad a 21-20 lead. Megawati tied the set but the Filipinos regained the advantage from the errors of the opposing side, 23-22.
However, Mediol Stiovany Yoku, Wilda Siti Nurfadilah, and Nandita Ayu Salsabila delivered the last three points to complete the straight-set victory.
It was a frustrating loss for the Philippines, which had chances to win every frame. It got to set point in opener, 24-23, after Gumabao’s attack and Galanza’s ace, but Hany Budiarti blocked Carlos to force a deuce, 24-24, before Megawati nailed a kill and Nandita rejected Gumabao to steal the 1-0 advantage.
In the second set, the Filipinos fought back from a 20-22 deficit from Megawati’s attack error and Jeanette Panaga’s set-equalizing block. The Indonesians reached the set point from Nandita’s down-the-line kill and Galanza’s spiking error, 24-22, before a successful video challenge by coach Muhamad Alim Suseno in the middle of the rally caught Panaga committing a net fault awarded the win.
Creamline ended its back-to-back national team stint including a sixth place finish in the AVC Cup for Women. The Cool Smashers missed their star spiker Alyssa Valdez in both international tournaments due to dengue.
The winningest Premier Volleyball League club, which has five titles, will shift its focus to a third straight crown this 2022 season in the Reinforced Conference which opens on October 8.