Team Philippines bucked a first set setback and dominated Myanmar in the next three to essay a 20-25, 25-14, 25-10, 25-17 victory in the Asian Southeastern Zone Women’s Volleyball qualifier in Quang Tri, Vietnam on Saturday
The Philippine Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission Sports V-Belles actually blew an 8-5, 16-14 lead in the opening frame but put their act together from the second set to clobber their rivals and post the country’s first victory in international volley play in a long, long while.
The win came after the Filipina spikers, composed of the leading players of the Shakey’s V-League, absorbed a stinging 9-25, 11-25, 18-25 setback from Vietnam on Friday at the start of the three-day event serving as a qualifier for this year’s Asian Zonals.
Dindin Santiago, held to just five points by the hosts in her international debut, settled down with her game as the top National University (NU) hitter rattled off 16 hits while Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez, who topscored for the team with nine points against Vietnam, sustained her top form and unleashed a 15-hit game.
Jaja Santiago, the other half of the tall Santiago sisters, likewise turned in a impressive game, finishing with 12 points, together with La Salle-Dasmariñas’ Iari Yongco, who had 10 hits.
Coach Roger Gorayeb also drew a combined 15-point output from University of Santo Tomas Maika Ortiz and Rhea Dimaculangan, NU’s Rubie de Leon and Suzanne Roces.
The other members of the team, sponsored by Smart Communications and Accel and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee, are NU’s Myla Pablo and Jennylyn Reyes, Adamson’s Pau Soriano, and Jheck Dionela of Perpetual Help while NU’s Edjet Mabbayad and Ariel dela Cruz are the assistant coaches.
The Phl was battling Indonesia at presstime, hopeful of its chances against a team which boasts of a player that looks and plays like a man in Aprilia Mangarang, who scored 24 in a losing stand against the fancied Vietnam, 1-3, also on Saturday.