ASIAN GAMES: Kazakhs break Pinays' hearts again

ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 31, 2018 05:42 PM
ASIAN GAMES: Kazakhs break Pinays' hearts again
Kazakhstan gave the Philippines another heartbreak.

The Philippines faced a familiar foe and again ended up with the same stinging result.

Kazakhstan reasserted its mastery over the Filipinas with a 25-11, 22-25, 25-15, 19-25, 16-14, win Friday to advance in the battle for fifth spot in the consolation round of the 2018 Asian Games at the GBK Indoor Hall.

The Kazakhs set up a faceoff for no. 5 finish against Vietnam on Saturday. It was Kazakhstan’s third straight win over the PHI since defeating the Filipinas in straight sets in the pool play and in five in the battle for seventh in the AVC Asian Women’s Senior Volleyball Championship held in Laguna last year.     

Vietnam defeated Indonesia, 29-27, 18-25, 25-22, 25-22, to advance in the battle for fifth.

The Filipinas will meet pool play tormentors Aprilia Manganang-led Indonesia in the battle for seventh place Saturday.

Kazakhstan erased a 0-3 deficit in the deciding frame and engaged the Filipinas in a see-saw battle for an exciting windup.   

Kristina Karapetan gave the Filipinas a chance for a deuce when she sent her service short, 14-14. But the Kazakhs kept their composure with Alessya Safronova playing the hero’s role for her country with a running kill and the match-clinching kill block on Jaja Santiago.

Yana Petrenko led Kazakhstan with 18 points off 12 kills, five aces and a block, Sana Anarkulova scored 15 while Safronova had 13 markers with her last point coming off her only kill block in the match.

The Philippines recovered its bearing after a shaky start, putting setter Jia Morado on the wheel to run the Filipinas’ fast play as they took an early lead in the second frame before engaging the Kazakhs in a tight battle up until the closing stretch of the frame. The Filipinas went up, 21-19, only to see the Kazakhs tie at 22.

Mylene Paat sparked the closing run of the PHI with a kill before Jaja Santiago sealed it with an ace.

The Kazakhs were quick to adjust to the Filipinas’ game plan, using their height advantage to frustrate the PHI’s attackers and dictate the pace of the third frame at the price of losing top hitter Sana Anarkulova.

Anarkulova, who returned in the fifth, hurt her right shoulder late in the third set after colliding with libero Tatyana Fendrikova attempting to receive Morado’s service.

Down by a set, the Filipinas went charging early in the fourth set to build a 17-8 lead. Kazakhstan was forced to field its prized hitter Katerina Tatko, who punished the PHI in their previous two meetings, as the Kazakhs threatened to comeback but the Filipinas were able to turn back their opponents rally.       

Jaja Santiago had 19 points, Mylene Paat, who is on her first national team stint, showed a lot of promise with 14 points while Alyssa Valdez recovered from a disappointing three-point outing in the PHI's straight sets loss to 2016 Rio Olympics champion China with 13 markers, 24 excellent receptions and 18 digs.   

Morado tallied 26 excellent sets and finished with five points.

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