Team Philippines succumbed to Vietnam’s power game and methodical play and absorbed a 9-25, 11-25, 18-25 setback in the opener of the Asian Southeastern Zone Women’s Volleyball qualifier in Quang Tri, Vietnam on Friday.
The POC-PSC Sports V-Belles put up a gutsy stand in the third but just couldn’t sustain their charge as the hosts simply imposed their will from all angles while thwarting the Pinays’ attack with a solid net defense and superb reception.
Alyssa Valdez, playing out of Ateneo, fired nine hits while sisters Jaja and Dindin Santiago of NU combined for 11 points for the team formed just last week from the top squads of the recent Shakey’s V-League.
The Pinay spikers, playing for the first time as a team in a big international tournament, struggled in the first two sets as the Viets, a perennial contender in Southeast Asian level competitions, unloaded kills after kills and frustrated the visiting squad’s attacks with their excellent reception and defense upfront.
Team PH was battling Myanmar at presstime late last night.
Myanmar also dropped a 0-3 loss to Indonesia Friday.
“We have a very good chance against Myanmar owing to our height advantage and skills,” said team manager Tony Boy Liao, referring to the 6-4 Jaja and 6-2 Dindin and the rest of the crew that includes Myla Pablo, Jennylyn Reyes and Rubie de Leon, also of NU, Iari Yongco of La Salle-Dasmariñas, Adamson’s Pau Soriano, Maika Ortiz and Rhea Dimaculangan of UST, Jheck Dionela of Perpetual, former V-League MVP Suzanne Roces and Valdez.
But Liao stressed the need to polish their reception to set up good plays for the team’s middle and open spikers.
The team is handled by Roger Gorayeb as head coach and Edjet Mabbayad and Ariel dela Cruz as assistant coaches.