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2017 Asian Women's

Philippines pushes South Korea, falls in straight sets

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With their opponents expecting an easy outing, the Philippines pushed world-power South Korea into an uncomfortable corner but still fell in straight sets, 23-25, 19-25, 11-25, in the second round of the AVC Senior Women’s Championship in the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.

The Koreans started off with nerves of steel, weathering the Philippines’ strong start and the ruckus crowd. Korea had nearly silenced the audience, taking a 24-19 lead. The hosts, however, refused to go down easily. With Aby Maraño hopping off the bench and providing two aces, the Pinays rattled off a 5-0 run. Having planned to keep their 2012 Olympics MVP on the bench for the match, the Koreans were forced to bring in Kim Yeon Koung just to get them out of the first set without going through a deuce.

The Philippines’ strong showing did not relent in the second set. With Jaja Santiago getting her attacks going, the Philippines stole a 14-11 lead. Still affected by the ear-rattling cheers of the home crowd, Korea was again forced to bring Yeoun Koung just to keep them afloat. With arguably the best player in the world on the court, the Koreans grabbed the momentum, establishing a 19-14 cushion and never looking back.

In the third set, Yeoun Koung started her first frame of the tournament. KYK’s presence had both an intangible and tangible effect on the match, as she scored at will and deflated the spirits of the hosts. Korea raced to a 16-8 and sealed the win early.

“Hindi tayo victorious sa game pero victorious tayo as a threat. It’s a very big morale-booster na ipinasok ang one of the world’s best attacker[s],” said National Team head coach Francis Vicente. “Siguro may threat ‘yung team, nakita nila palaban ang Pilipino so para sa akin don’t underestimate the Philippine team.”

Jaja Santiago led the Philippines with 10 points, while Alyssa Valdez and Jovelyn Gonzaga provided seven points apiece.

Yang Hyojin topped all scorers with 13 points. KYK finished the match with 12 points on a nine-for-12 attacking clip.

The Philippines, dropping to 0-2 in Pool E, will next play Southeast Asia neighbors Vietnam tomorrow.

The Scores

South Korea (3) – Yang 13, Kim Y.K. 12, Kim H. 11, Hwang 7, Park 6, Kim. M. 5, Kim Y. 3, Lee 0, Na (L)

Philippines (0) – Santiago 10, Gonzaga 7, Valdez 7, Fajardo 5, Maraño 4, Reyes 4, Fajardo 1, Molina 1, Lazaro (L), Macandili (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball – from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado’s setting.

2017 Asian Women's

Philippines suffers first loss against powerhouse Indonesia

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The Philippine Men’s Under-22 Football Team suffered its first loss in the 2017 South East Asian Games 0-3 against one of the tournament-favorites Indonesia at the Shah Alam Stadium in Shah Alam.

Indonesia just needed seven minutes to break the Philippine defense. An Indonesian ball into the Filipino box was cleared only as far as defender Putu Gede, who then crossed it back. Septian David then beat his marker and masterfully intercepted Gede’s cross to put the ball past a helpless Rey Joyel for first blood.

It was the worst possible start for the Filipinos, and they were forced to stay in their own half as the Indonesians masterfully kept possession of the ball. The Philippines tried to force counterattacks, but Indonesian goalie Kattika Ajie was rarely troubled at his post.

Come first half stoppage time, Indonesia doubled its lead and effectively killed the game off. Some neat passing play allowed the Indonesians to break the Filipinos’ defensive line. Amidst the passing, the Filipino defenders failed to spot Muhammad Hargianto’s run into the Philippine box and the midfielder calmly doubled Indonesia’s cushion by halftime.

To make matters worse, the Philippines had a goal disallowed early in the second half. Kou Ichi Belgira’s free kick hit the Indonesian wall and was turned in by Ian Clarino, only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside. It was a bitter pill to swallow, and the pain worsened shortly after, when Saddil Ramdani unleashed a fantastic long striker against the unsuspecting Filipinos in the 59th minute.

The result left the Philippines in 4th place with three points in Group B.

Another tough game awaits the Filipinos, as they go up against Vietnam, who routed Cambodia 4-1 earlier in the day. That fixture shall be played on August 20, 8:45 PM, at the Shah Alam Stadium.


Philippines XI: Joyel, Jarvis, Koizumi, Bautista, Clarino, Grommen, Belgira, Lapas, Borlongan, Gayoso

Indonesia XI: Ajie, Gede, Dimas, Hargianto, Walian, Fajrin, Ramdani, Roni, Yama, Hehanusa, David

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2017 Asian Women's

On the same day Dawn Macandili was MVP, she bags another prestigious award

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August 17 will forever bear sentimental value for the spunky Dawn Macandili

On the same day she was named the first-ever libero MVP last year in the PSL All-Filipino Cup, Macandili lined up with Asia’s best this year as the Second Best Libero of the AVC Senior Women’s Championship.

Like last year, receiving a historic award had come as a total surprise for Macandili.PSL AFC 2016 Awarding - Macandili-7848

“Nakakagulat po kasi, siyempre, first time ko maglaro sa international tapos ganito agad. Parang nakaka-pressure din at the same time na mag-perform pa ako ng mas mataas pa sa performance ko ngayon,” Macandili thought.

“Ayaw ko mag-settle, since ‘yun nga pangit ang start ko tapos ganito ang resulta. siguro next time i-feel ko naman na may magagwa pa ako na mas maganda.”

It was a wonder to Macandili that dirty work players like her would be bestowed such prestigious recognition.

“Nakaka-amaze kasi ‘yung parang training ka lang nang training, tapos gusto ko lang naman makatulong ka sa team, para hindi bumagsak ang bola, tapos may nakaka-recognize pala ng ganoon, parang nagpe-payoff pala siya,” Macandili admitted.

While it was under his watch that Macandili won Second Best Libero, National Team head coach Francis Vicente gives all credit to Macandili’s long-time mentor, Ramil De Jesus.

“We have to congratulate also ‘yung naging coach niya na maganda ‘yung naging outcome ng kanyang training,” Vicente said.

” Dito binigay lang namin ‘yung tiwala sa kanya. Kaya siya nagexcel, minotivate namin para ma-challenge siya to be in her best. Let us give most credit to the coach na nag-harness sa kanya.”

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2017 Asian Women's

Dawn Macandili hailed among Asia’s best

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The Philippines’ pint-sized libero Dawn Macandili took her place among the best in Asian volleyball after being named 2nd Best Libero of the AVC Senior Women’s Championship at the Alonte Sports Arena.

The De La Salle University’s defensive ace was key in the Philippines’ push into the Top Eight of the tournament.

Macandili was in splendid company.

South Korea’s Kim Yeoun Koung, the 2012 Olympics MVP, was hailed First Best Open Hitter, with Thailand’s 17-year old wunderkind Moksri Chachu-on bagging the Second Best Open Hitter plum.

Chachu-on’s teammate Hattaya Bamrungsuk bagged the First Best Middle Blocker trophy, with Japan’s Nana Iwasaka being named Second Best Middle Blocker.

Rounding out the awardees were Thailand’s prolific playmaker Nootsara Tomkom as Best Setter, China’s Jin Ye as Best Opposite, and Japan’s Mako Kobata as 1st Best Libero.

For her splendid performance throughout the tournament, Japan’s Risa Shinnabe was named Best Opposite Hitter.

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2017 Asian Women's

Japan breaks Thailand’s heart again, rallies back to claim AVC Seniors gold

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As has become tradition, Japan mounted a beautiful comeback to steal the win and the 2017 AVC Senior Women’s Championship gold from Thailand, 26-28, 20-25, 25-16, 25-16, 15-7, at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.

Looking like they were about to slay their demons with decisive wins in the first two sets, the Thais let another one slip against the Japanese.

Enforcing its defensive will, Japan stifled its foes in the third and fourth sets to force a decider. Then Japan completed its turnaround in splendid fashion, with Mami Uchiseto and Yurie Nabeya providing the big punches in the fifth set. Surging to an 11-5 lead, Japan never looked back and brought home the gold.

In the past two years, Japan has dealt Thailand heartbreaking losses in big competitions, including a controversial 2016 decision that cost Thailand an elusive Olympics ticket.

Japan’s all-around opposite hitter Risa Shinnabe tallied a game-high 19 points and was a splendid 18-for-32 on reception. Uchiseto finished with 18 points.

Wingers Kokram Pimpichaya, Kongyot Ajcharaporn, and Moksri Chachu-on each provided 17 points for Thailand.

In the bronze medal match, South Korea swept China 25-20, 25-16, 25-17.

The Vietnamese took fifth place over the Chinese Taipei, while Kazakhstan finished in seventh after trumping hosts Philippines.

The Scores

Japan (3) – Shinnabe 19, Uchiseto 18, Iwasaka 13, Nabeya 11, Araki 9, Nomoto 8, Tominaga 6, Okuruma 2, Sato 1, Inoue (L)

Thailand (2) – Ajcharaporn 17, Chachu-on 17, Pimpichaya 17, Pleumjit 5, Hattaya 4, Wilavan 4, Nootsara 2, Pornpun 1, Wipawee 1, Piyanut (L)

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