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AVC: Philippines U18 could not sustain strong start, bows to India in opener


The Philippine under-18 women’s national volleyball team failed to sustain its strong start against India, suffering a 14-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-19 defeat to open its campaign in the 14th Asian Women’s U18 Volleyball Championship, Monday at the Nakhon Pathom Sports Centre Gymnasium at Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.

The Jerry Yee-mentored squad surprised the opposition with a solid start in the first set but the Indians imposed their height dominance in the next three sets to take a 1-0 record in Group B.

Ana Hermosura and Jothea Ramos provided the spark for the Philippines in the first, racing to an 8-0 start, which later grew to 11-3 with consecutive service aces.

The Indians came up with consecutive points late in the opening set to remain within striking distance but the Philippines got solid plays from Kimberly Rubin and Katherine Shaine Cortez to end the set.

India countered with a strong start in the second set as they build a 10-5 edge. The Philippines clawed its way back to within 14-16 but the Indians pulled away to clinch the set.

Both squads engaged in a tight battle in the third frame with no team establishing a huge lead but the Indians got timely conversions from Rajnandani Mitra to take a 2-1 set edge.

The Philippines staged a determined comeback in the fourth set but still found India’s overwhelming dominance too good at the final stretch to surrender the match for good.

“It was a good start for us but, unfortunately, our players failed to sustain it,” said team manager Jose Montalbo. “But it is a learning experience for us heading to our next match.”

The Philippines hopes to bounce back on Tuesday (12:30 pm) against Kazakhstan, which lost to Chinese Taipei earlier on Monday.

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