ASIAN GAMES: Pinays fall to regional powerhouse Thailand
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 19, 2018 02:47 PM
The Philippine national women's volleyball team had a strong start, but eventually fell to regional power Thailand in the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games.
The Philippine national women’s volleyball team had their moments and gave a gallant stand against Southeast Asian powerhouse Thailand.
Jaja Santiago, Alyssa Valdez and the rest of Shaq Delos Santos’ crew gave the Thais quite a scare but their battle-scarred rivals took advantage of the Filipinas’ inexperience to carve out a 25-22, 25-12, 25-15 victory in the 2018 Jakarta Palembang Asian Games Sunday at the Bulungan Sports Hall.
The Filipinas set foot in the quadrennial continental sports meet for the first time in 36 years and immediately made an impact.
With starting setter Kim Fajardo connecting early with Santiago, Valdez, Kim Kianna Dy and skipper Aby Marano unleashing her ‘beast mode don’t care’ mantra, the Filipinas shocked the Thais as they raced to an early 9-2 lead in the opening frame.
The Filipinas seemed to be in control with a 15-10 advantage before the Thais rallied to take a 16-15 lead. The Nationals reclaimed the driver’s seat, 21-19.
But Thailand got their bearing back and blasted a 6-1 counter-attack to silence the Filipinas.
Valdez led the Filipinas with seven points while Santiago and Dy had six markers each. Marano finished with five while Mylene Paat posted four points in her first tour of duty.
Waking up from a sluggish start, the Thais, who ruled the SEA Games’ last 11 editions, bared their fangs in the next two sets to give the Pinays a reality check.
Thailand gave the PHI a dose of its own medicine, pulling away early in the second set before burying the Filipinas 21-11 to cruise to another set win.
The Filipinas showed the same aggressiveness they had in opening set as they kept the third frame close, chasing the Thais, 8-9, only to once again be demolished by their stronger rivals.
Chatchu-on Moksri paced Thailand with 15 points while Pimpichaya Kokram and Pleumjit Thinkaow had 13 and 10 markers, respectively.
Team PHI will face Japan on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.