Rebisco PSL-Manila ran into a battle-ready Vietin Bank of Vietnam to surrender a 25-13, 25-18, 25-15 decision and finish eighth and last in the AVC Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championships Wednesday in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan.
It was heartbreaking defeat for the Philippine club, which are the crowd favorites here at Boris Alexandrov Sports Palace for their gutsy, all-heart style of game.
Yet against the Vietnamese, the Filipinos were listless and unsure, yielding precious points on attack errors and failing to protect their turf against enemy attacks.
Backed by Asics, Grand Sport and Turkish Airlines, the all-Filipino Rebisco PSL-Manila thus lost all six assignments here although the stint here was primarily to set up the national team and gain valuable experience needed for the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games in August.
Jaja Santiago led with 10 points but was mostly bothered by Vietin’s solid net defense while Aby Marano and Rachel Daquis added seven each. Lefty opposite Jovelyn Gonzaga made five markers.
Kim Fajardo dished out 44 excellent sets and three points. Maika Ortiz also had three points, while Mika Reyes and Bia General scored one each. Also comprising the team are Gen Casugod, Aiza Pontillas, Rhea Dimaculangan, Lourdes Clemente and Denden Lazaro.
The Filipinos led, 10-5, in the second set but it quickly disappeared amid Vietnam’s consistent attacks that yielded them 47 points as against 25 attack points of the Philippines.
Marano, the team’s undersized but big-hearted middle blocker, accounted for four of the team’s nine blocks which was three points better than that of Vietin.
But Vietnam lorded it over in digs, 46-19 and reception, 26-18, which allowed it to set-up its offense well.
Pham Thi Jim Hue and Doan Thi Xuan led Vietnam with 16 and 12 points while Le Than Thu added 9. Team captain Nguyen Thi Xuan and Hoang Mint Tham chipped in eight apiece.
Also joining the team here are team manager Anna Tomas of the Philippine Superliga, assistant coaches Brian Esquibel, Ronald Dulay and Manny Calipes, team physician Raul Alcantara and team therapist Marie Collins Ong.