PH spikers score breakthrough Asian Games win
JAKARTA, Indonesia – The Philippine women's volleyball team overpowered Hong Kong in straight sets, 25-18, 25-21, 25-22, for its first win in the 2018 Asian Games on Thursday, August 23 at the GOR Bulungan Stadium.
The Filipina spikers – who also pulled off a straight-set victory over Hong Kong in the 2017 Asian Women's Seniors Volleyball Championships – recovered from back-to-back losses against powerhouse squads Thailand and Japan.
Alyssa Valdez led the Philippines with 14 points off 10 spikes and 4 aces while Jaja Santiago delivered 12 points from 8 spikes, 2 blocks and 2 points.
“Sobrang thankful kay Lord kasi siyempre yung past two games namin medyo down, masama yung pakiramdam namin pero every time na nag-uusap kami, positive pa rin yung pinag-uusapan namin,” said national team coach Shaq delos Santos.
“Kakayanan ng team so kailangan pa mag-improve. Honestly speaking, kailangan pa namin madevelop yung team namin fully.”
(We’re thankful to the Lord because we felt down in the past two games, but of course we tried to stay positive whenever we talk. We know we still need to improve, so we’re trying our best. Honestly speaking, we still need to fully develop our team.)
Santiago and Valdez capitalized on the the Cantonese' lackluster defense as the Philippines dominated Hong Kong right from the first set.
The Nationals sustained the momentum for the rest of the game with Dindin Santiago-Manabat also stepping up from the bench in the second set.
“Honestly speaking noong pinanood namin sila against Indonesia, yung tinignan namin talagang kaya namin yung,” said Delos Santos.
“So sabi ko labas lang natin kung ano merong laro tayo and kailangan pa mag-improve ng improve. Pero sabi nga namin, wag kayo maging complacent, wag tayo maging complacent kasi siyempre yun yung maging problema namin kung naging ganun.”
(Honestly speaking, when we watched Hong Kong against Korea, we really thought we could beat them. So I told them let’s just show our game and let’s improve. But we also said that we can’t be complacent because if that happens, it’s going to be a problem.)
Sau Mei Yeung topscored for Hong Kong with 15 points off 13 spikes and 2 aces.
The Philippines – which fielded a volleyball team in the Asiad for the first time in 36 years – will face Indonesia in another must-win game on Saturday, August 25, to sustain its bid to advance to the quarterfinals.
Philippines – Valdez 14, Santiago 12, Reyes 8, Dy 6, Paat 5, Santiago-Manabat 5, Baron 4, Maraño 4, Fajardo 3, Morado 2.
Hong Kong – Yeung 15, Chim 10, Pang 7, Ip 4, Y. Lam 2, Koo 2, Fung 1.