Alas Pilipinas girls off to 2-0 start in Thailand tournament

Alas Pilipinas girls off to 2-0 start in Thailand tournament

/ 03:32 PM June 09, 2024

Alas Pilipinas girls

Alas Pilipinas girls during a game against Malaysia in Thailand.–Photo from SMM Volleyball

MANILA, Philippines — Alas Pilipinas girls overcame Malaysia, eking out a 25-20, 27-29, 25-22, 25-18 win to stay unbeaten in the 22nd Princess Cup Southeast Asian Under-18 Women’s Volleyball Championship on Sunday at Nakhon Pathom Gymnasium in Thailand.

The Philippines leaned on Kimberly Rubin and Lianne Penuliar, who stepped up when it mattered most to stave off the tough challenge by the Malaysians.

The young Nationals couldn’t sustain their first set win as their effort to save four set points in the second frame wasn’t enough to stop Malaysia from tying the game at 1-1.

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READ: Alas Pilipinas girls rip Singapore to open Thailand U18 tilt

Alas was quick to get its act together in the third, taking a 17-10 spread but the Malaysians never wavered as they tied the game at 21.

Rubin and Penuliar restored the order for the Filipinos for a 23-21 breather followed by two consecutive errors from both squads to reach set point, 24-22.

Penuliar delivered the set-clinching attack to take a 2-1 advantage.

The Philippines pulled away from a precarious 17-15 lead in the fourth, scoring eight of the last 11 points capped by Penuliar’s game-winning hit.

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Alas earned an early 2-0 lead in the six-team competition, where the top two squads of the single round-robin will clash in a winner-take-all final on June 13.

READ: Alas Pilipinas girls set for two U18 tournaments

The Philippines takes on host Thailand on Monday at 5:30 p.m. (Manila time).

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The Thais, who were eyeing their second win against Australia as of posting time, dominated Indonesia on Saturday with a 25-19, 25-16, 25-23 win.

National girls’ volleyball team coach Taka Minowa won his first two games, following a 25-14, 25-6, 25-12 demolition of Singapore on Saturday.

The Japanese coach and Alas girls will also compete in the Asian Women’s U18 Volleyball Championship from June 16 to 23 also in Thailand.

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Malaysia fell to a 0-2 record, losing its first match to Australia, 25-12, 25-18, 25-21.

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