SANTA ROSA, Philippines – The national women’s volleyball team settled for another bronze medal finish as Indonesia exploited the Philippines’ late errors to grab a four-set victory, 21-25, 17-25, 25-21, 21-25 in the second leg of the ASEAN Grand Prix on Sunday, October 6 at the Sta Rosa Sports Complex here in Laguna.
Despite the roaring support of the home crowd, the visiting squad did not hesitate to spoil the Philippines’ bid as Megawati Hangestri Pertiwi and Arsela Nuari Purnama took over for Indonesia.
Team stalwarts Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado, Maddie Madayag, and Jovelyn Gonzaga returned to action for the Philippines after missing the game against first-leg winner Thailand due to club commitments.
But their efforts still fell short against the Indonesians, who wound up second behind repeat champion Thailand.
Gonzaga had her moments in the 4th frame and led the national team with 14 points and 11 excellent receptions while Valdez chipped in 13 points and 18 excellent digs.
Ace playmaker Morado dished out 22 excellent sets as Ces Molina and Madayag added 9 and 7 points, respectively.
The Nationals recovered from their poor receptions early in the 1st as they closed the gap 21-19 off Gonzaga's kill but Indonesia quickly shifted gears and pulled away all thanks to Nuari's kills.
Despite Valdez’s resurgence midway through the 2nd, the Philippines still couldn't catch a break as Indonesia blasted 4 straight points to close the set with an eight-point lead.
The Philippines, though, refused to go down easily with Madayag providing the much needed spark off the bench early in the 3rd frame while Molina and Morado fueled a 5-0 rally that gave the Nationals a 20-15 advantage, enough to force another set.
The two squads exchanged runs in the 4th set, but the costly service errors halted every comeback attempt of the Philippines as a successful in/out challenge from the visiting team silenced the Filipino crowd.
Hangestri lashed out 26 markers while Nuari and Ratri Wulandri scored 17 and 12 points each for the Indonesian team.
Meanwhile, Thailand easily nabbed the gold medal as it swept the depleted Vietnamese squad, 25-21, 25-12, 25-11.
The Thais displayed dominance from start to finish to wrap up their tournament run without a single set-loss.
Malika Kanthong led the scoring for Thailand with 13 points, 4 coming off service aces while Pleumjit Thinkaow and Wanitchaya Luangtonglang unloaded 12 points apiece.
No one scored in double-digits for the winless Vietnam as Thi Kieu Trinh Hoang drilled all of her 9 points off spike kills. – Rappler.com