A WEARY Philippines side summoned what’s left in the tank to outlast Australia, 21-25, 25-19, 19-25, 25-18, 15-12, to boost its chances of achieving its best possible finish in the AVC Cup for Women yesterday at the Philsports Arena.
Looking tired after bowing to Thailand, 18-25, 25-23, 20-25, 9-25, in the quarterfinals late Saturday, the hosts showed steely resolve in the deciding set as Tots Carlos produced the match-clinching kill to close out the intense two-hour, 31-minute contest.
Already assured of its best finish in only its second participation in the AVC Cup for Women, the Philippines hopes to end its campaign on a high note against Chinese-Taipei, which earlier pulled off a 25-23, 25-19, 25-17 victory over Iran, in the 5th-6th place classification match.
Coach Sherwin Meneses commended his troops for the tremendous composure they showed despite the Volleyroos holding a 2-1 set lead.
“Nothing to lose naman kami. So yung experience sa ganoong sitwasyon, naranasan naman nila iyon. Just enjoy the game lang then limit your basic errors. Yun lang,” said Meneses.
Carlos scored 26 points, Jema Galanza finished with 18 points, while Ced Domingo had three blocks for a 18-point effort for the national women’s team.
“It was a lot of teamwork talaga,” said setter Jia de Guzman. “Everyone came together. Everyone did their roles. Ginusto namin lahat yung game.”
The Philippines lost its receive in the opening set, allowing Australia to nail six aces and claim the upper hand.
Finally getting into the groove of things, the women’s national team was able to level in the second set but things didn’t went on its way in the third, as the Volleyroos, with Caitlyn Tipping scattering for nine points, raced to a 14-3 advantage and weathered their foes late comeback to take the upper hand.
With the Philippines on the ropes, Galanza, Carlos and Domingo joined forces in the fourth set to extend the match.
Tipping eventually finished with 25 points, including six blocks and five service aces, while Stef Weiler and Rebecca Redgen chipped in 17 and 12 points, respectively, for Australia.
The Volleyroos will play the Iranians in the battle for 7th and 8th place at 10 a.m.
Huang Ching-Hsuan had 14 points, including two blocks, while Kan Ko-Hui and Chen Tzu-Ya each scored 10 points for the Taiwanese.
Captain Chang Li-Wen saw her teammates’ fire in their performance despite the team’s tough five-set loss to Vietnam.
“Even though we lost yesterday’s game, we have to focus on the next one,” said Chang.
Chinese-Taipei is bracing for what the Philippine offense – which is centered on Carlos and Galanza – where Chang thinks that they are “not easy to play”.
“We need good service and good receive,” said Chang.
The women’s national team, composed of Premier Volleyball League champion Creamline, is grateful for the opportunity to play in this level, where it took a lot of sacrifices to make it in the AVC Cup for Women.
“Every game naman, yung chance ilalaban namin. Kahit na pang-12 pa iyan, pang-100 pa iyan o pang-apat, every game, binibigay namin yung best namin,” said Meneses.
Maedeh Borhani Esfahani led the Iranians with 10 points, while Pouran Zare contributed seven markers.