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Alas Pilipinas

Alas Girls fall to Iran in straight sets in AVC U18 opener

Alas Pilipinas Girls opened their 15th Asian Women’s U18 Volleyball Championship campaign with a tough straight-set loss against Iran, 20-25, 19-25, 20-25, on Sunday at the Ratchaburi Gymnasium in Thailand.

The Filipinas, who slipped to 0-1 in Pool B, still have a shot at making it to the next round, but they must beat defending champion Japan, who has won the past eight editions of the tournament, on Tuesday at 5:30 PM (Manila time).

Following successive losses in the first and second sets, Alas Pilipinas brought the fight early in the third set after a strong start.

They took an 11-9 advantage following a cross-court attack from Jaila Adrao.

Unfortunately, that proved to be the end for them. The Iranians went on a red-hot 13-3 run that buried the Philippines in a 16-22 deficit.

The Filipinas tried to mount a comeback with Lianne Penuliar and Akeyla Bartolabac spearheading a 4-1 run to slice the lead to just three, 20-23.

With the Philippines threatening to extend the game, Yasna Ahankoubroo and Ayda Valinezhad took over and hammered down two consecutive attacks to finish off the game.

Akeyla Bartolabac led the young Filipinas with seven points while Agatha Bron got six.

Alas Pilipinas kept it close in the opener and trailed by just a solitary point late, 16-17, before a service error from Harlyn Serneche kick-started a 3-0 spurt by the Iranians.

The run also included back-to-back hits from Masoumeh Ghadamitabaghdehi and Yaida Jafari Khoulenjani that gave Iran a 20-16 lead.

Adrao stopped the bleeding for the Philippines with an off-the-block hit, but it was not enough as the Iranians kept their distance en route to a 1-0 set advantage.

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It was the same story for the Akari-backed Alas Pilipinas in the second set, with the Iranians pulling away midway through the frame before eventually putting on the finishing touches that propelled them to a 2-0 lead.

Masi Ghadamitabaghdehi led the way for Iran with 17 points while Ayda Valinezhad finished with 11.

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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