Valdez and women's volley team no pressure against Vietnam

Mark Escarlote on Jun 12, 2015 12:13 PM
PHI women's volley team no pressure against Vietnam
We’re gonna do our best. We’re gonna fight on Saturday. Heart strong and happy. Just enjoy the game --- Alyssa Valdez

SINGAPORE --- Just enjoy the game.

The Philippine national women’s team have their backs against the wall and will take on a daunting task against an experienced and powerhouse Vietnam on Saturday in the match that will decide the fate of the squad playing for the first time after a decade of absence in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.

Holding a record of 1-1 tied with opening game tormentors Indonesia, the Pinay spikers are forced to win their scheduled 10:00 a.m. match at the OCBC Arena Hall 2 here.

But not just a victory a convincing one of at least four sets to secure a superior quotient in case Indonesia defeats Malaysia and a two-way tie at 2-1 at the end of the group stage.

The Indons, who defeated the PHI, 22-25, 20-25, 14-25, last Wednesday in a game painted with color after the organizing committee denied the protest of the Filipinas against the allegedly hermaphrodite player Aprilia Manganang hours before the match, are in second place with four ranking points compared to only three of the Roger Gorayeb-mentored squad.

"There’s pressure (na manalo). Pero for us it won’t help para i-pressure mo pa ang sarili mo," said Abigail Marano when ABS-CBN Sports caught up with the former De La Salle star after the heartbreaking straight set loss of the men’s team to Myanmar last Thursday.

"But our challenge is to turn that pressure into an inspiration to play for our country," she added. "Ang trabaho namin ngayon ay i-perform lang namin ang best namin para sa bansa."

Only the top two teams after the group stage will advance to the semifinals. A Final Four ticket assures a team at least a bronze medal finish.

"As a team we’re not expecting anything kasi we came here as first timers sa SEA Games so medyo ang experience namin as a team as an individual player siyempre medyo bago pa lang din but then it’s not an excuse din naman," said PHI volleyball phenom Alyssa Valdez, who averaged 14 points in her two games.

Vietnam, runner up in the 2013 Myanmar edition, is undefeated in two games and the Vietnamese are coming off a tight 25-20, 25-20, 21-25, 16-25, 15-10 win over Indonesia where five of their players logged in double digit scores.

"We’re gonna do our best. We’re gonna fight on Saturday. Heart strong and happy. Just enjoy the game," added Valdez.

Watch Valdez's full interview here:



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