The PHI is really playing fast volleyball --- KYK
Yes (I was surprised) because it was so much different from before for sure and now they are playing really fast volleyball -- Kim Yeonkoung
BINAN CITY, Laguna –-- Korean star Kim Yeonkoung saw a different Philippine national women’s volleyball team than the squad the Asian powerhouse whipped to submission two years ago.
KYK was surprised to see a gritty Filipina squad that gave them trouble all throughout the match in Pool E’s quarterfinals classification round of the 19th AVC Asian Senior Women's Volleyball Championship on Sunday at Alonte Sports Arena here.
The 2015 edition runner-up Koreans remained unscathed in the tournament but faced a tough fight against host country.
Their 25-23, 25-18, 25-12, win wasn’t easy at all.
“Yes (I was surprised) because it was so much different from before for sure and now they are playing really fast volleyball,” said KYK, the 2015 edition’s 2nd Best Outside Spiker. “And some of their players are really young and I know that they want to be better and improve in the future.”
KYK sat out in Korea’s straight sets beating of the Myla Pablo and Ces Molina-led PHI team, 25-8, 25-7, 25-8, two years ago in the Tianjin, China.
This time, KYK played in all three sets and even started in the third with the Koreans having trouble to finish off the Filipinas in the first two frames.
It was the first time the Korean star played the whole match. She saw action in a relief role only in the fourth set of Korea’s four-set win over Vietnam in the preliminary round after sitting out her team’s dominating wins over New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Korea head coach Sungjin Hong fielded KYK with his squad having trouble in closing the opening frame despite holding a 24-19 lead.
Jovelyn Gonzaga and Aby Marano teamed up to score four straight points. After Marano’s service ace pushed the PHI at 23-24, Hong sent in KYK, who immediately made an impact and iced the frame with a sharp kill.
Boosted with their great performance in the opening set, the Pinays raced to a 12-9 lead but KYK rallied her team back to silence the home team and the home crowd. KYK started in the third set and led the Koreans to finish off the Pinays.
“In the first set was close so and the second set we had to build our momentum to do better so I think it was the key that we changed our rhythm to be better,” said KYK.
As a consolation from their previous meeting, the PHI played better this time with 31 attack points compared to only 12 two years ago. The Pinays got six aces to erase 2015’s 0 service winners.
“Today it was really great. I know the Philippines’ (performance) before and now they are playing really good,” said KYK.
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