AVC Challenge Cup: PH beats Uzbekistan for seventh place
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine women’s volleyball team ended its Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Challenge Cup campaign with a 25-14, 13-25, 25-18, 25-18 victory over Uzbekistan for seventh place on Sunday at Tri Dharma Petrokimia Gresik Gymnasium in East Java, Indonesia.
Faith Nisperos conspired with veteran spikers Shaya Adorador and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas to recover from a lackluster second-set performance and end a two-game skid before flying home to the country.
Nisperos top scored with 17 points to cap her second national team stint since the AVC Women’s Club Championship in Thailand two years ago also under coach Jorge Souza de Brito.
Adorador chipped in 13 points, while Pontillas added 12 markers, including the hits that helped the Philippines pull away in the fourth set.
Ezra Madrigal was also instrumental with nine points, highlighted by the match-winning attack to finish seventh out of 11 teams.
The nationals dominated the opening set but lost steam in the second as Tursunpulatova Malikakhon and Boymirzayeva Dilnoza led the Uzbeks’ fight back in the lopsided second set to tie the match to one set apiece.
Nisperos and Co. got their act together in the third to regain the lead and widened a 12-10 fourth-set advantage to 22-15 off Malikakhon’s attack error. Erika Raagas put the Filipino Spikers at match point, 24-16, but Askarova Zarnigora scored back-to-back kills to extend the game before Madrigal nailed the game-winning quick attack.
The Philippines started its campaign with a rousing victory over Macau to secure a quarterfinal berth but lost its last Pool A game to host Indonesia.
The national team then, survived India in five sets to inch a win closer to the semifinals but fell to also-ran Australia, which relegated the squad to the classification match.
The Filipinos got swept by Iran in the classification round on Saturday and were sent to the battle for seventh.
Dilnoza led Uzbekistan with 13 points, while fellow middle blocker Toshkenboyeva Khodisakhon added 10 markers.