Iran tops Group A, Philippines in second

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Masha Saberi of Iran tries to score against Kazakhstan’s Yakaterina Razorenkova (#7) and Diana Bortnikova (#19) during the elimination round of the 1st Asian Under-23 Women’s Volleyball Championship on Sunday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Masha Saberi of Iran tries to score against Kazakhstan’s Yakaterina Razorenkova (#7) and Diana Bortnikova (#19) during the elimination round of the 1st Asian Under-23 Women’s Volleyball Championship on Sunday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Iran rued its ‘poor performance’ but will take its 25-20, 18-25, 25-19, 14-25, 15-13 win over Kazakhstan that placed it on top of Group A in the 1st Asian Under-23 Women’s Volleyball Championship on Sunday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

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The Iranians got the surprise of their lives when the Kazakhs forced them to a fifth set,  but they survived a blistering Kazakhstan fight back to seal the victory and enter the second round of elimination as the top Pool A team with a clean 2-0 card. The Philippines placed second with a 1-1 mark.

Neda Chamlanian had all of her 18 points on kills while Mina Roosta delivered 16 hits to finish with 18 points for the Iranians.

The Taiwanese will battle the Iranians at 12 noon while Japan will face the Philippines at 4:15 p.m. in the second round of elimination.

The Filipinas need to beat the Japanese and the Taiwanese on Tuesday to stay in contention.

“We are just going to fight and give our best shot. Japan is definitely the best team here,” said national head coach Roger Gorayeb, who is expected to lean on hard-hitting Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago, Jia Morado, Gretchel Soltones and Myla Pablo.

”It’s going to be a tough game but we will give it a good fight.”

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