NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand — The Philippine national women’s volleyball team failed to extend their winning streak to three as they yielded to Australia in straight sets at the Asian Volleyball Championships on Thursday, September 19, at the MCC Hall, The Mall.
After winning back-to-back games against Sri Lanka and Myanmar, the Power Pinays were turned back by the Australians, 25-22, 25-15, 25-23, and was booted out of contention to be in the 9th to 10th place of the competition.
The PH team fought tooth and nail against their adversary and was almost successful in snatching the 3rd set to extend the game but to no avail.
After tying the game 22-all in the final frame, the national team faltered as the Aussies scored 2 consecutive points with an attack and an ace which brought them to match point.
Team captain Angge Tabaquero countered through an attack from the middle to keep the hopes of breaking into the top 10 alive, 23-24, but Australia proved to be too strong as they ended the match via an emphatic crosscourt kill.
“Ang problema, ang bilis bumaba ng morale niyo,” said head coach Ernesto Pamilar to the girls during their post-game huddle. “Natalo lang kayo sa unang set na dikitan, bumigay na kayo sa second.”
Honey Royse Tubino led the PH spikers with 10 points off 7 attacks and 3 blocks followed by Wenneth Eulalio and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas with 8 points apiece.
Charge it to experience
After failing to at least duplicate the 9th place finish of the last PH team sent to the AVC back in 2005, the Power Pinays will battle first-day tormentor India, who finished them off in straight sets as well, to contest the 11th spot.
Pamilar believes, though, that their lopsided loss in the tournament opener was due to the team’s lack of experience and exposure.
“Kulang sa time mag practice together ang team,” he said. “Tapos dagdag mo pa na karamihan sa kanila, first time sa international scene.”
After going head-to-head against Asia’s best of the best, the head coach thinks his wards are already capable of avenging their loss to India.
“Gamay na ng setter ang spikers niya,” said Pamilar. “Tapos yung injury ni Angge, okay na.”
“Bukas, lalaban itong mga to.”
End it with a bang
Though unable to break into the top 10, the people behind the PH team are still pleased with how the girls performed in the Asian Volleyball Championships, which will have its last few games tomorrow, Friday, September 20.
“I don’t want you to feel down,” said Philippine Volleyball Federation officer, Doc Ian Laurel. “You may have lost, but you made the country proud.”
“The trip back home will be so much sweeter if we end the campaign with a win!” he exclaimed.
Pamilar mirrors Laurel’s thoughts to boost the Power Pinays’ morale.
“Kalimutan niyo ang talo.” said Pamilar. “Isipin niyo ang laban bukas.”
“Ibigay niyo na lahat! Para sa sarili niyo at para sa bayan!”
Photos courtesy of DJ Bianca Frost