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AVC: PWNVT stuns India in 5-set thriller, stays alive in semis race

The Philippine Women’s National Volleyball Team secured a come-from-behind victory against India in a thrilling match, winning 25-22, 26-28, 11-25, 29-27, 18-16, in the 2023 AVC Challenge Cup Pool E quarterfinals on Wednesday at the Tri Dharma Petrokimia Gresik Gymnasium in East Java, Indonesia.

Led by middle blocker Aswani Kandoth, India pushed the match to a 16-all tie in the extended fifth set. However, a crucial crosscourt point from Shaya Adorador and a service ace from Djanel Cheng sealed the win for the Philippines.

In the opening set, the Philippines, supported by the strong performances of its wing hitters, quickly established a 20-14 lead. Despite India’s comeback, the Filipinos held on and secured the set with a score of 25-22, thanks to a sharp crosscourt kill from Faith Nisperos and a veteran play from Aiza Maizo-Pontillas.

Pontillas continued to contribute for the Philippines in the second set, but India managed to level the score at 28-26. The points came from an attack error from Ezra Madrigal and a hit from Jincy Johnson off a mis-set ball from Cheng.

India gained momentum in the third set, dominating with a 16-8 lead. It eventually won 25-11, bringing it one set away from victory.

In the fourth set, Adorador stepped up for the Philippines when they were trailing 19-21, scoring four consecutive points, including three aces. Eli Soyud followed it up with a solid block on Nirmal, giving the Filipinos a set point at 24-21.

However, India fought back and forced a deuce at 24 before both teams exchanged points. Tied at 27, Pontillas secured the set for the Philippines with a drop shot and a crosscourt hammer.

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In the tournament format, the top two teams from Pools A and C, as well as Pools B and D, were grouped into Pools E and F, respectively. The result of the game between Indonesia and the Philippines, both from Pool A, affected the Pool E standings, similar to the other teams’ results.

With this victory, the Philippines improved their record to 1-1 and will compete for a spot in the semifinals on Friday at 5:30 PM (Manila time) against Australia.

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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