SEA Games: Pinay spikers suffer stinging loss to Vietnam

Mark Escarlote on Dec 03, 2019 08:24 PM
SEA Games: Pinay spikers suffer stinging loss to Vietnam
The Philippines bowed down to Vietnam in their 30th Southeast Asian Games women's volleyball match. (Arvin Lim)

Vietnam silenced the home crowd after beating the Philippines, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19, 20-25, 15-8, on Tuesday in the 30th Southeast Asian Games women’s volleyball competition at the PhilSports Arena.   

Thi Thanh Thuy Tran reintroduced herself to the Filipinas after missing Vietnam’s last clash against the Philippines in the ASEAN Grand Prix second leg two months ago. The Philippines defeated Vietnam in both ASEAN Grand Prix legs.

Tran uncorked 27 points with all but one coming off attacks and carved monster numbers on defense with 13 digs and 13 excellent receptions for the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games bronze medalists. Thi Xuan Nguyen got 15 markers, Thi Nga Bui scored 14 while Thie Kieu Trinh Hoang added 10 for Vietnam, who frustrated the Filipinas with 15 kill blocks.        

Vietnam was quick to recover from yielding the fourth frame as the visiting team banked on its vaunted net defense to create an early separation that the Filipinas failed to surmount.

The Vietnamese will face Indonesia on Thursday.

Alyssa Valdez posted 22 points to lead the Philippines with 20 coming off spikes and added 13 receptions. Ces Molina and Jovelyn Gonzaga finished with 12 markers each while Majoy Baron got 10. 

The loss put the host team in tough position in the race for the top two spots in the short round robin format where the top two squads will faceoff for the gold. The third and fourth ranked teams will battle for the bronze.

“Well, I think meron kaming magandang performance but siyempre nashort. Hindi maganda yung result pero lesson learned para sa amin siyempre kailangan namin paghandaan yung mga next game namin," said PHI head coach Shaq delos Santos.

Down, 1-2, in the match, the Nationals backed by the huge crowd fought back in the fourth. Protecting a slim, 17-16, advantage, the Filipinas fired four straight points to take a five-point advantage before wrapping up the set to force a decider.      

Vietnam broke a 19-19 deadlock in the second set with a 5-1 rally with Tran hitting a kill. Jovelyn Gonzaga stopped the bleeding before Valdez scored on back-to-back kills to push Philippines closer, 23-24.

The Vietnamese doused cold water on the host team’s rally as setter Thu Hoai Nguyen scored on a tip to tie the match.

Vietnam again ignited a huge 9-0 blitz to break a 13-13 tie in the third frame for a 22-13 lead. Gonzaga sparked the Nationals’ 4-1 fight back to cut their deficit, 17-23, before the Vietnamese countered to take the set point.

Valdez scored back-to-back hits but committed an error in the next play as the Philippines went down, 1-2, in the match.                

The Philippines will take on 11-time defending champion Thailand on Thursday. The Thais defeated the 2017 silver medalist Indonesia in straight sets, 25-13, 25-15, 25-9.



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