ASIAN GAMES: Santiago, Valdez star in PHI’s first Asiad win in 36 years
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 23, 2018 04:11 PM
Alyssa Valdez scored 14 points as the Philippines finally won a match in the Asian Games after 36 years.
Top hitter Alyssa Valdez and middle blocker Jaja Santiago provided the firepower while the rest of the Philippine national women’s volleyball team played their roles well to crush Hong Kong, 25-18, 25-21, 25-22, Thursday in the 2018 Jakarta Palembang Asian Games at the GOR Bulungan Sports Hall.
The Filipinas made history as they snapped their two-game losing slump in Pool A and barged in the win column to keep their quarterfinals hopes alive.
It was the Pinay spikers’ first win in the Asiad since the Vangie De Jesus and Fe Mejia-led squad defeated India, 15-9, 15-9, 15-2, in the 1982 New Delhi edition – the last time the PHI women's team participated in the quadrennial meet.
Valdez finished with 14 points off 10 attacks and four service aces while Santiago added 12 markers for the Filipinas, who duplicated their 25-21, 25-16, 25-17 victory over the Hong Kong squad in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship last year.
Mika Reyes had eight points, Kim Dy had six points including the match-clinching kill while Mylene Paat and Dindin Santiago_Manabat scored five each for PHI, which pounded 45 attack points, landed 11 aces and had seven kill blocks.
Setter Kim Fajardo orchestrated the PHI’s fluid offense with 22 excellent sets despite the Filipinas shaky reception game.
The PHI bowed down in straight sets against Southeast Asian powerhouse Thailand and Asian giant Japan.
To formally advance in the quarterfinals, the Filipinas must win in their last match against host Indonesia on Saturday in their scheduled clash at 5:30 p.m. and hope that Hong Kong will drop its remaining games against Thailand and Japan.
Hong Kong suffered its second straight loss after a four-set defeat against Indonesia. Skipper Sau Mei Yung led Hong Kong with 15 points while Wing Lam Chim had 10.