Gusto namin tapusin ang laban na lumalaban kami -- Valdez
Gusto namin matapos ang laban na lumalaban kami and I think we’ve shown it kinulang lang din talaga -- Alyssa Valdez
BINAN CITY, Laguna –-- Philippine national women’s volleyball team may have lost in straight sets against the mighty Kazakhstan side but the Filipinas did earn respect for their gallant stand.
“Gusto namin matapos ang laban na lumalaban kami and I think we’ve shown it kinulang lang din talaga,” said Pinay ace spiker Alyssa Valdez moments after the PHI team bowed down to the taller and experienced Kazakhs, 23-25, 20-25, 19-25, Friday in Pool A of the 19th SMM Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship.
The crowd that flocked inside the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna was ecstatic when the Filipinas built a 12-8 lead in the opening set and seemed in control.
But the Kazakhs turned the tables around and stole the frame.
The home team overhauled a 12-16 deficit in the second set and briefly held an 18-17 advantage. But again the Kazakhs had an answer.
Banking on the scorching attacks of Katerina Tatko and Yekaterina Zhdanova as well as in the net defense of Alessya Safronova and Radmila Beresneva, the Kazakhs mounted a rally to take the set.
Refusing to go down without a fight, the Filipinas again clawed back from an 11-19 deficit in the third set and threatened the Kazkhs, 19-22, only to falter in the end.
The Kazakhs were simply to tall and too powerful for the Pinays – a proof of fact was the 17 kill blocks that stymied the attackers of the home team.
“It’s a given fact, we can’t do anything about their height but we can do something about our strategy and teamwork,” added Valdez, who scored 14 points for the second game in a row since putting up the same numbers in the PHI’s three-set win over Hong Kong.
The win put Kazakhstan as the top seed of Pool A with a 2-0 win-loss record, while the Philippines dropped to 1-1, however, both teams are assured of a spot in the quarterfinals and qualified in the 2018 AVC Asian Women’s Volleyball Cup.
Philippines and Kazakhstan will face Korea and Vietnam in Pool E quarterfinals classification round starting Sunday. Kazakhstan will take on Vietnam while PHI squares off with South Korea at 5:30 p.m. in a match that will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23 and ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166.
“I think one thing for sure, we really learned from this and hopefully madala namin sa laban sa Korea,” said Valdez.
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