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2017 Asian Women's

Pleumjit Thinkaow praises Philippines’ work ethic

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Thailand volleyball has been lording over the Southeast Asian region for more than a decade. They took gold in the last 10 SEA Games, winning 12 overall in the biennial meet, and is the only nation in the region to make world-level competitions.

In the past, Thailand-Philippines matches conclude easily, with the Thais going over quickly. But in the 19th Asian Senior Women’s Championship, the match turned out more eventful.

Drawing energy from the ruckus Alonte Sports Arena crowd, the Philippines gave the visitors a scare. Still, the Philippines fell in straight sets.

Having faced the Philippines numerous times, even Thailand’s veterans saw major improvements in the Pinay.

Thailand skipper Pleumjit Thinkaow noticed the increased work-rate of the Pinays.

“They work so much harder on the court. They definitely have gotten better,” shared the veteran middle blocker.

Fiery Wilavan Apinyapong gushed about the Philippines’ development. She thinks this was a result of the Philippines’ continued participation in international competitions.AVC Seniors Philippines vs. Thailand - Wilavan Apinyapong-5188

“I think they improved a lot. Every skill – block, attack, and teamwork – better than before.

“I think this is because, last two years, they’ve been going to competitions,” expressed the veteran open hitter. “For example, in AVC they come now. Many years ago, Philippines sometimes come, sometimes no. They have gained so much more experience now.”

Both players agreed that the Philippines definitely has a unique passion for the sport. They were even surprised that they were recognized by the Filipino fans.AVC Seniors Philippines vs. Thailand-5073

“For me, very happy to come to play in the Philippines. Many fans here come to support our team,” Wilavan commented.

“Yesterday, we played against Japan and Philippine fans were really cheering for us and that makes us feel like we’re playing at home.”

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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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