Tuloy pa rin ang laban, may SEA Games pa -- Valdez
Tuloy pa rin (ang laban) meron pa tayong SEA Games. Bawi lang ng bawi hanggang may lalabanan, laban lang ng laban -- Alyssa Valdez
BINAN CITY, Laguna –-- Even after closing the 19th AVC Asian Senior Women's Volleyball Championship with a painful five-set loss, Alyssa Valdez and the rest of the Philippine team held their heads up high as they face another challenge in the 29th Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games.
The Filipinas ended their campaign with three straight losses against taller and more experienced teams capped by a 20-25, 16-25, 25-21, 25-21, 3-15 defeat in the battle for 7th place in a match that saw the Philippines put up a valiant stand inside the Alonte Sports Arena here Thursday.
“We have to accept the loss. We have to move forward on to the next goal, the SEA Games,” said Valdez who closed her first Asian Senior stint with 11 points. “So we have to be prepared mentally and physically we have to recover fast.”
The squad will fly to Malaysia on Saturday and will take on Malaysia and Vietnam in the group stage starting August 21.
“Tuloy pa rin (ang laban) meron pa tayong SEA Games. Bawi lang ng bawi hanggang may lalabanan, laban lang ng laban,” said Valdez, who blasted 20 points in the PHI’s 27-25, 26-24, 17-25, 25-23, upset win over 2015 SEA Games silver medalist Vietnam in the quarterfinals classification round Monday.
The PHI finished at 8th spot to duplicate the country’s feat in the 2003 edition of the tournament in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and surpassed the 12th place of the squad two years ago in Tianjin, China. The host team also clinched a spot in the 2018 AVC Asian Cup for landing at the Top 8.
The Filipinas had a chance to tie the country’s best finish at 5th spot established in the 1983 Fukuoka, Japan meet but the Pinays fell short in the first phase of the 5th to 8th classification round against Chinese-Taipei, 19-25, 20-25, 19-25, Wednesday.
Against Kazakhstan, the Filipinas were able to erase a two-set deficit to force a decider.
But an early 1-8 hole did the PHI in as the Kazakhs reasserted their mastery over the Filipinas, who they defeated in straight sets in the opening round.
“It was a tough loss for the team, definitely,” said Valdez, who scored 11 points to close her first Asian Senior stint.
“Kasi siyempre, we were almost there but because of the experience of Kazakhstan, their maturity inside the court and their chemistry as a solid team for a long time,” she added. “So siguro ‘yan ‘yung naging edge nila.”
Valdez hopes that the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. would continue to give exposure to the national team in other international competitions.
“Kami as the Philippine team, ito talaga ang start,” she said. “Nakikita namin as players sobrang mas gusto namin, mas na-inspire kami na bumalik sa mga ganitong tournaments dahil sa ganitong challenges.”
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