AVC Asian Cup: PHI bows out of quarterfinals race

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 17, 2018 07:49 PM
AVC Asian Cup: PHI bows out of quarterfinals race
The Philippines suffered another painful five-set loss to bow out of the quarterfinals race in the AVC Asian Cup. (File photo courtesy of www.asianvolleyball.net)

Iran came back from a 1-2 match deficit to boot out the Philippines in the quarterfinals race with a 27-29, 25-16, 17-25, 25-12, 15-13, win in Pool C Monday in the AVC Asian Cup at the Korat Chatchai Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.     

The Filipinas pushed the Iranians to the limit in the fifth set but Iran came up mentally tougher in the battle of nerves to claim its second straight win in as many outings.

Iran joined Australia, which also got a scare from the Filipinas before escaping with a come-from-behind five-set win after clawing back from two sets down, in the quarterfinals. The Filipinas were relegated to the Challenge Cup.

Alyssa Valdez and Mylene Paat kept the PHI alive in the fifth frame after a shaky start. The Filipinas tied the frame at 13 only to see the Iranians seal the match with back-to-back hits.

Mahsa Kadkhoda paced the Iranians with 30 points off 19 hits, six aces and five kill blocks while skipper Maeda Borhani scored all of her 18 points on attacks. Neda Cahamlanian and Mahsa Saberi scored 12 and 10, respectively, for Iran. 

The PHI took a 2-1 match lead after dominating the Iranians in the third frame. But Iran kept its composure and came back mightily in the fourth, leading by double-digits early to force a decider.  

Iran went up 12-10 in the fifth but faced nervous moments in the closing stretch as Valdez tied it at 12. Iran again took the lead but an attack error that knotted the frame at 13.    

Valdez finished with 24 points to lead the Filipinas while Paat added 10. Aby Marano and Cha Cruz-Behag combined for 14 markers for PHI. 

The Nationals (0-2) will close the pool play on Tuesday against Kazakhstan, which also dropped its first two games, in a rematch of their seventh place battle in the Asian Games.  

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