2019 ASEAN Grand Prix: The Philippines repeats over Vietnam
Mark Escarlote on Oct 04, 2019 04:44 PM
The Philippines crushed Vietnam to open the ASEAN Grand Prix second leg. (Richard Esguerra)
STA. ROSA, Laguna --- Boosted by the boisterous home crowd, the Philippine national team submitted Vietnam, 25-21, 25-23, 25-21, Friday to open its campaign in the ASEAN Grand Prix second leg at the Sta. Rosa Multi-purpose Gym here.
Alyssa Valdez, who missed the opening leg to rest a foot injury, debuted with a bang and connived with Ces Molina and Mylene Paat as the Filipinas reasserted their mastery over the Vietnamese, who they defeated in five sets two weeks ago to bag the bronze medal in the opening leg in Nakhon Ratchasima.
"Nakaka-proud yung team. Siyempre advantage kasi nandito tayo sa homecourt natin and siyempre yung puso na ipinakita ng mga players knowing na yung preparation hindi ganoon katagal," said a very proud PHI head coach Shaq delos Santos. "Pero nakakatuwa kasi pinu-push talaga nila ang sarili nila. Kung ano ang mga plano, ang mga pinag-usapan nandun. Sobrang happy."
Valdez finished with 14 points built on 12 kills and two aces with six excellent receptions while Molina had 13 markers including 11 off attacks. Paat got 11 points while reigning ASEAN GP Best Middle Blocker Majoy Baron had three kill blocks in her nine-point outing for the Philippines.
Jia Morado tallied 17 excellent sets and 10 digs while libero Dawn manned the floor with her superb defense, punching in 22 digs and 11 excellent receptions for the Nationals.
Playing without their top player Thi Thanh Thuy Tran, who is playing in a club in the Japan V. Premier League, the Vietnamese were easy picking this time for the Filipinas.
The home team got a scare midway in the third set as the Vietnamese cut a 10-16 deficit to 15-16 before skipper Aby Marano, Baron, Valdez and Molina sparked the Nationals' counterattack to finish the match.
The Nationals came back from a 19-18 deficit in the opening set, igniting a 4-0 barrage to create a 22-19 separation. The Vietnamese closed in, 22-21, before the visiting team committed two errors for the Pinay's last three points.
Down 9-11 in the second frame, the Nationals lined up a 6-1 barrage to take a 15-12 lead capped by a kill block by Paat. The Filipinas kept distance and moved at set point, 24-20, before Vietnam threatened with three straight saved set points before commiting a net touch violation to yield the frame.
Thi Kieu Trinh Hoang paced Vietnam with 14 points while Tu Linh Tran and skipper Thi Nga Bui scored 10 and eight markers, respectively.
The Philippines will face powerhouse Thailand Saturday sans Valdez, Morado, Maddie Madayag and Jovelyn Gonzaga traveling to Iloilo for their club commitments.
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