Pinay spikers fall to Vietnam, will go home empty-handed

Mark Escarlote on Jun 13, 2015 12:47 PM
Pinay spikers fall to Vietnam, will go home empty-handed
Nangangarap tayo na pumasok sa (semifnals) pero hindi natin na-meet yun. Pero yung experience na naibigay niyang (pagsali sa SEA Games) sa mga bata malaking bagay yun --- coach Roger Gorayeb

SINGAPORE --- The Philippine national women’s team bowed to a much superior Vietnamese squad, 25-16, 25-21, 25-23, Saturday morning to close the eliminations and bid farewell to the 28th Southeast Asian Games volleyball event held at the OCBC Arena Hall 2 here.

Alyssa Valdez and the rest of the Filipina spikers just couldn’t find an answer to the 2013 SEA Games silver medal winner’s height and power as the PHI team absorbed their second loss in three games and were booted out of contention for a spot in the Final Four, where at least a bronze medal is assured.

Valdez scored 11 points from 10 kills and an ace while Jaja Santiago played her best game with 10 markers in an all-around performance with six spikes, three blocks and an ace for the PHI, which made its return to the biennial meet after 10 years of hiatus.

"Nangangarap tayo na pumasok sa (semifnals) pero hindi natin na-meet yun. Pero yung experience na naibigay niyang (pagsali sa SEA Games) sa mga bata malaking bagay yun," said head coach Roger Gorayeb. "Being first-timers ulit sa SEA Games, malaking bagay yun."

The Filipinas got overwhelmed by the attacks of Vietnam and their numerous errors -- mostly from the service line also contributed to their downfall.

Most painful of their miscues was the wide attack of Santiago that pushed the Vietnamese at match point after a tight late third set stretch.

Vietnam controlled the first two sets and were never threatened.

Santiago gave the PHI its first taste of the lead with a block kill for a 2-1 advantage to start the third frame.

A see-saw battle ensued before Vietnam built a 14-9 lead. The Pinays tied it a 17 from a Dindin Santiago-Manabat kill. Rachel Anne Daquis put the PHI in front, 19-18, but Vietnam answered with a 4-1 rally to take the driver’s seat, 22-20, capped by Thi Nga Bui’s spike.

Siblings Dindin and Jaja scored back-to-back hits to tie the set at 22 before Vietnam gave the lead back to the PHI after an attack error by Ngoc Diem Ha.

Ti Thanh Thuy Tran smashed a powerful spike for the match’s final deadlock at 23 as Santiago overcooked her spike and Thi Ngoc Hoa Nguyen unleashed the final blow that the Pinays couldn’t control.

Thi Minh Do scored 13, Hoa had eight while Tran finished with seven for Vietnam, undefeated in three games and will take on the winner between Singapore and Myanmar, still playing as of posting, in the cross over semifinals.

Indonesia, which swept the PHI in their opening game last Wednesday, will face the defending champion Thailand in the Final Four on Sunday.

The gold medal match is set on Monday.

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