Shorthanded PH volleyball team folds to powerhouse Thailand

Leigh Nald Cabildo
Shorthanded PH volleyball team folds to powerhouse Thailand
Playing minus 4 key players, the Philippines bows to first-leg winner Thailand in straight sets



SANTA ROSA, Philippines – The shorthanded Philippine women’s volleyball team did not stand a chance against powerhouse Thailand as it yielded a straight-set decision, 25-12, 25-16, 25-10, in the second leg of the ASEAN Grand Prix on Saturday, October 5 at Sta Rosa Sports Complex here in Laguna.

The Thais, who ruled the first leg, showed too much firepower in the match that saw no Filipino player scoring in double digits.

Adding to the Philippines’ woes was the absence of Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado, Maddie Madayag, and Jovelyn Gonzaga, who all left for Iloilo due to their club commitments in the Premier Volleyball League.

Veterans Mylene Paat and Ces Molina led the the Philippine team with 7 and 6 points, respectively, against the unbeaten Thais. 

Grethcel Soltones – who did not see action in the Philippines’ triumph over Vietnam a day earlier stepped up for the 10-man Nationals as she chipped in 5 points, 10 excellent digs and 9 excellent receptions.

Jasmine Nabor dished out 13 excellent sets while Dawn Macandili had 10 excellent digs for the national squad, which gave up 21 unforced errors compared to Thailand’s 9.

Thailand did not waste time flexing its offensive firepower with a 4-0 start. 

Although the Philippines momentarily gained momentum after Paat and Majoy Baron trimmed the deficit, 5-4, the visiting team quickly erupted for a huge 11-1 blast to regain control of the opening frame.

The Nationals saw a ray of hope in hitter Soltones as they gave the reigning queens a bit of a challenge early in the 2nd set.

But Malika Kanthong and Pimpichaya Kokram took charge late and gave Thailand a commanding 22-14 advantage.

More of the same happened in the 3rd as the Thais blasted 6 straight unanswered points to gain a 16-8 advantage, enough to silence the Filipino crowd.

Kokram led the scoring for Thailand with 11 markers, while captain Onuma Sittirak added 10 points.

Meanwhile, Indonesia notched its first win at the expense of depleted Vietnam, 29-27, 25-20, 23-25, 25-17.

Megawati Hangestri Perwiti led 5 players in double-digits for Indonesia with 21 points while Ratri Wulandari added 18 points and 14 excellent receptions.

Arsela Nuari Purnama chipped in 15 points and 14 excellent digs while Agustin Wulandri and Wilda Siti Nurfadhilah Sugandi had 11 and 10 markers, respectively.

On the other hand, Thi Kieu Trinh Hoang and Thi hue Luu spearheaded the winless Vietnam with 16 and 14 points, respectively.

The Philippines and Indonesia, tied at 1-1, will clash on Sunday in a virtual battle for the  silver medal at 5 pm. –


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