China downs Foton Pilipinas, secures a semis spot
Mark Escarlote on Sep 09, 2016 04:09 PM
Foton Pilipinas dropped to a four-game losing slump and fell short of its target to finish at the top four with a straight sets quarterfinals defeat against powerhouse China.
BINAN CITY --- China’s Ba’yi Shenzheng advanced in the semifinals with a 25-16, 25-18, 25-14 win over Foton Pilipinas Friday ending the host team’s dream of a top four finish in the 2016 AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship at the Alonte Sports Arena here.
The Chinese squad secured a spot in the next round and vie for a spot in the championship against Altay VC-Kazakhstan with their fifth straight win.
Kazakhstan defeated Iran's Sarmayeh Bank, 20-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-15, in their quarterfinals pairing.
The semifinals is set on Saturday.
Liu YanHan, named 2015 Asian U-23 Championship Most Valuable Player, top scored for China with 19 points anchored on 16 attacks and three kill blocks while Chen Yao had 12.
Wang Yunlu and Wang Qi finished with 11 markers each for China, which sent the Tornadoes to the classification round for fifth to eight place.
China had 46 kills with nine kill block and 8 service aces.
“For sure we showed puso a lot. We worked hard. We know we have a lot to learn day by day,” said Foton Pilipinas coach Fabio Menta.
“But the adventure is not over yet because this is the real target for us going for the fifth position. So that’ what I see,” he added.
The Tornadoes did give China a hell of a fight in each set before fading down the stretch against the might of the taller Chinese that gave Foton Pilipinas libero Jen Reyes quite a workout.
“Philippines played well today. They were very good in the first and second set,” said Chinese coach Juemin Yu, who was impressed with Reyes’ determination despite being the smallest woman on court she was fearless diving and chasing for the ball.
American import Lindsay Stalzer and 6-foot-5 Jaja Santiago kept gave Foton Pilipinas a sliver of hope in the third frame after surrendering the first two sets, chipping down an early 3-8 deficit to only 9-11 capped by Santiago’s quick kill off a perfect set by Ivy Perez.
But the Chinese countered and blew open the third set with a 7-0 blast for an 18-9 advantage and the Tornadoes never recovered.
Stalzer scored nine points while Santiago had seven. American reinforcement Ariel Usher had five while Perez added three for Foton Pilipinas, which absorbed its fourth straight loss.
Foton Pilipinas will take on Sarmayeh Bank-Iran on Saturday for the classification round. A win will give the Tornadoes a chance to vie for the country's best ever finish in this continental tournament.
Meanwhile, NEC Red Rockets of Japan booked a Final Four ticket after knocking out T. Grand of Chinese-Taipei, 25-6, 25-23, 25-13, and will face defending champion Bangkok Glass-Thailand, which booted out Thongtin Lien Viet Post Bank of Vietnam, 25-17, 25-18, 25-15.
Chinese-Taipei and Vietnam will meet in the other classification round for 5th to 8th match.
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