NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand — The Philippines encountered a resilient Indonesian side that took advantage of its moment of weakness in the fifth to yield a 25-21, 26-28, 12-25, 25-18, 15-9, Thursday at the start of the Asean Volleyball Grand Prix.
Just when the Filipinos thought they got their groove after taking the second and third frames, the Indonesians, missing key player Aprilla Manganang, crept back into the match.
“We are still happy with the way we played, we made key adjustments in the second set. Unfortunately, in the fourth we slowed down,” said national coach Shaq Delos Santos.
He said the fifth set break down reflected the team’s lacking in experience of playing together.
“We need this tune up event, we need more games like time. For me, we only need just a few fine-tuning but otherwise I can say the team has what it takes to win,” he added.
The Philippines will battle Thailand on Saturday at 3 p.m., Manila time.
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Nuari Purnama Arsela and Magawati Pertiwi punished the Philippines with their power moves especially in the opening set, putting the Nationals on their feet at Terminal 21 Mall courts.
But Majoy Baron started deflecting enemy missiles in the second set, allowing Kalei Mau, Ces Molina, Mylene Paat and Maddie Madayag to slowly pile up the much needed points in the extended frame.
With the Indonesians looking spent, the Filipinos took the third set with seeming ease and looked poised to score the win in the fourth.
Arsela and Pertiwi didn’t allow that to happen.
Instead, they got their second wind while teammates Ratri Wulandri and Agustin Wulandri began hitting their marks to turn the tables on the Filipinos.
When Indonesia took a 7-2 lead in the fifth, there was no letting up although the Filipinos managed to close in at 7-5.
Molina topscored with 18 points, while Baron added 17 including five kill-blocks. Mau and Paat chipped in 15 and 12, respectively.
Madayag contributed seven points, while Alohi Robins-Hardy and Aby Marano and three each.
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