2019 ASEAN Grand Prix: Philippines takes on powerhouse Thailand

Mark Escarlote on Oct 05, 2019 06:48 AM
2019 ASEAN Grand Prix: Philippines takes on powerhouse Thais
The Philippines braces for an even tougher challenge facing powerhouse Thailand with four players unavailable. (Richard Esguerra)

STA. ROSA, Laguna -- Facing powerhouse Thailand is already a big challenge for the Philippines.

Taking on the Thais without four key players makes it even tougher.

But the Filipinas are ready to clash with the Thais despite great odds stacked against them Saturday in the ASEAN Grand Prix second leg at the Sta. Rosa Multi-purpose Gym here.  

“Challenging talaga kasi you know very well kung paano maglaro yung Thailand,” said team captain Aby Marano of their 5:00 p.m. clash.

The match is available on iWant and via livestream.

The Philippines opened its campaign on a high note after dismantling Vietnam in straight sets Friday.

But the Nationals will be missing the services of top hitter Alyssa Valdez, who debuted with 14 points, Maddie Madayag, starting setter Jia Morado and Jovelyn Gonzaga because of club commitments in Iloilo.

The Pinays won a set over the Thais in their first leg encounter in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand ruled by the host team.   

“Ngayon even challenging because we don’t have Kalei (Mau), Alohi (Robins-Hardy) and Jia, Maddie, Alyssa and ate Jovs as well so ngayon ang mangyayari yung mga bata natin tas kami maiiwan,” said Marano.

Backup setter Jasmine Nabor, who joined the team just last Monday, will start for Morado. Roselyn Doria is expected to step up for Madayag while Grethcel Soltones could take the spot of Valdez and young blood Eya Laure might take the spot of Gonzaga.

Thailand is also coming off a straight sets win over Indonesia in a rematch of their first leg gold medal match.




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