Gritty Power Pinays fall to India in straight sets

Mark Dionisio
The Power Pinays fought hard, but faltered in the end to lose to India.

POWER PINAYS. PH spikers celebrate a point. Photo by Bianca Frost.

NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand — The Philippine national women’s volleyball team faltered in the clutch to fall to India, 22-25, 24-26, 12-25, in the opening game of the 2013 Asian Volleyball Championships here.

The Power Pinays battled their foes toe-to-toe in the first two frames, but could not pull through as errors pushed them to wither late in sets as they opened their title bid on a sour note.

Coach Nes Pamilar blamed inexperience on his wards’ erratic performance.

“Ang errors, dumadating talaga yan,” he said. “Yung kalaban nga na babad sa international competitions, nag-e-error, tayo pa kaya?”

“Kinulang lang talaga tayo sa communication at sa experience na rin.”

Hard-fighting Pinays

Pamilar’s wards battled India hard in the first two sets and with its defense clamping down on India’s soft-hitting attackers, the PH squad looked to be on the verge of a set win.

But the Power Pinays could not deliver when it mattered most, as errors — including a game-changing one from team captain Angeli Tabaquero — doomed the national spikers in the first and second sets.

“Ang problem natin sa endgame,” said Pamilar. “Dun lumabas yung pagiging bagito ng team. Di sila aware  sa level of competition because of lack of exposure.”

India coach Meena Mahalingam admitted it was not easy beating the Philippines even though the latter is joining the competition for the first time in 8 years.

“With our agility not at par with theirs, their outside hitters had a feast on using off-the-block shots,” she shared. “Our attacks also lacked power that’s why they were easily defended.”

Coach satisfied

Despite the loss, Pamilar is satisfied with how his team played, especially in the first two periods.

“Ang ganda nun blocking natin nung una,” he said. “Very effective. Makalusot man ang kalaban, nakaka-depensa naman sa likod.”

Veteran opposite Aiza Maizo led the Power Pinays with 8 points off 7 hits and a block while Tabaquero and Honey Royse Tubino each added 7 markers for the Philippines, who will battle Iran tomorrow.

“Andun yung eagerness ng bawat isa manalo,” said Tabaquero. “Kaya lang na-conscious din kami sa scores. Didikit kami tapos pag naka-score sila, bumababa agad yung morale namin.”

Ghosh Anusri top scored for India with 14 points spiked by 8 hits and 6 blocks while skipper Abraham Mini Mol and Raju Tiji chipped in with 13 and 10 points, respectively. 

“(The) Philippines had good blocking and floor defense in the first two sets,” Anusri admitted. “But in the third set, we had better blocking and good reception. Because of that, we were able to create better combination plays.” –