Galanza Jema Galanza – 21 points in the Philippines’ four-set conquest of Iran. AVC photo

Pinays overcome Iranians in AVC

August 25, 2022 Theodore P. Jurado 260 views

A PUMPED UP Philippines side overcame a rough patch in the third set to beat Iran, 25-19, 25-22, 20-25, 25-14 and move closer in securing a place in the quarterfinals of the AVC Cup for Women at the Philsports Arena last night.

Jema Galanza scattered eight of her match-high 21 points in the fourth set, while Tots Carlos and Michele Gumabao added 14 and 13 points, respectively for the hosts.

The win put the Philippines in a tie with Iran in third place in Pool A at 1-2.

The national women’s team will play a young South Korea side at 7 p.m. while Iran will take on China at 4 p.m. on the same day.

With a 0-3 record, the Koreans are trying to avoid ending up as the ninth place team in the tournament.

“Every single day, our coaches are already there to remind us that we play with no pressure, but with pride for the Philippines. We will fight until the end,” said Gumabao.

“Every single game, we will always give our best. Whatever happens, we always train, we play volleyball. We will just do our best and continue to improve every single game,” she added.

The national women’s team turned to its improved first ball in the fourth set, as Galanza, Gumabao and Carlos stepped up their offense.

“We were not able to recover in the third set because we lost our first ball. The Iranians were intimidating with their height when you lose the first ball. Had we have good receive, we will have good combination plays,” said coach Sherwin Meneses after the two-hour, 12-minute match.

The national women’s team’s net defense also clicked, as middles Jeanette Panaga and Ced Domingo combined for five blocks. Carlos also gave significant contributions in the blocking department, recording two of the team’s 11 blocks.

Panaga was determined to rebound after a disappointing performance in the Philippines’ 16-25, 22-25, 20-25 defeat to China last Tuesday. The national women’s team failed to score a single block against the much-talleri Chinese.

“We really need to bounce back. Of course, I needed to step up,” said Panaga. “If there’s what’s lacking against China, we need to bounce back against Iran.”

Elahe Poor Saleh Shadehsari paced the Iranians with 13 points, including two service aces, while Mahsa Kadkhoda contributed nine points.