BIÑAN CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) - The Philippine national women’s volleyball team finished 8th in the 19th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championships after its late game rally fell short against Kazakhstan, 20-25, 16-25, 25-21, 25-21, 3-15 on Thursday, August 17 at the Alonte Sports Arena.
The Kazakhs showcased their offensive firepower and defensive dominance from the get go, as the nationals failed to obtain the lead in the first two sets.
But the host team came back fighting in the third as the Filipina spikers displayed a slight advantage in the attacks department, 17-14, and racked up two service aces— including one from Kim Dy that wrapped up the set at 25-21.
Kazakhstan cruised to an 8-2 lead to start the 4th set, but the Philippines once again came from behind to stun their foes and equalize the match at two sets apiece.
The seasoned Kazakhs, however, got huge momentum back in the decider as they hopped on a quick 10-1 run to fend off the Philippines' late game rally and salvage 7th place.
Jaja Santiago paced the national team with 18 points on 14 attacks and 3 blocks.
Alyssa Valdez and Jovelyn Gonzaga joined her in double digits with 11 and 10, respectively, while Ces Molina had 7.
Yekaterina Zhdanova produced a game-high 24 markers on 19 spikes and 5 block shots for Kazakhstan.
Katerina Tatko added 15, while Radmila Beresneva and Alla Bogdashkina both pitched in 14.
Despite failing to advance further in the semifinals, the Philippine team has already surpassed its 12th place finish back in the 2015 edition of the Asian Seniors, while qualifying for the Asian Volleyball Cup in 2018, a first for the country. The country also finished 12th in the same tourney when it was played 4 years ago in Thailand.
With the two teams locked in for 7th and 8th place, the remaining bottom squads Vietnam and Chinese Taipei will face-off in the next match of the day for a chance to seal the 5th seed.
Meanwhile, the tournament will soon have a new champion crowned as Japan and Thailand set up a championship showdown after eliminating defending titlist China and 2015 runner-up South Korea, respectively, in the semifinals.
Japan and Thailand swept their way to a finals appearance in the Manila edition of the Asian tilt, and both will look to grab the gold this year when they battle later at 5:30 pm.
Kazakhstan (3): Zhdanova 24, Tatko 15, Bogdashkina 14, Beresneva 14, Akilova 5, Safronova 3, Petrenko 2, Kenzhebayeva 1
Philippines (2): Santiago 18, Valdez 11, Gonzaga 10, Molina 7, Pontillas 5, Fajardo 5, Dy 3, Marano 2, Reyes 2, Ortiz 2. – Rappler.com