The Chinese were unstoppable even when facing the upset-hungry home team.
Foton Pilipinas did all they could but found Ba’Yi Shenzheng’s height and might insurmountable, succumbing in straight sets, 16-25, 18-25, 14-25, in the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship quarterfinals at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.
Foton managed to keep each set close early, but the Chinese shifted to another gear late and blitzed the hosts. Pilipinas were within three, 11-14, before the Ba’Yi rattled off seven straight points to seal the first set. Foton then held a momentary 4-3 lead in the second set before their offense sputtered and allowed China to sprint to an 11-21 advantage. Foton mounted a strong third set stand, creeping within two points of Ba’Yi, 9-11. But the Chinese mustered another barrage, rifling off eight straight points to put the result out of doubt.
“I’m proud of the way we fought. China really showed that they were at a different skills-wise from us,” said Foton’s American import Lindsay Stalzer.
“We know what type of team we are and we are far from the Chinese’s level. Reaching the semis was more of a dream for us and a lofty goal for the country but all is not lost for us,” said Foton head coach Fabio Menta.
Ba’Yi had several players who had played for the Chinese National Team. Although none of their players participated in the China’s Olympic Gold medal run, Ba’Yi has benefited from the China’s top caliber program which is currently ranked first in the world.
U23 Asian and World MVP Liu Yan Han towed Ba’Yi with 19 points, while Sheng Jingsi added 12.
Stalzer led Foton with nine points, while team captain Jaja Santiago pitched in five matkers.
Foton will face the loser of the Altay VC-Sarimeah Bank tiff for the right to battle for fifth place on Saturday, September 10, while Ba’Yi faces the winner in the semifinals.
Ba’Yi Shenzheng (3) – Liu 19, Chen 2, Wang Q. 11, Wang Yu. 11, Wang Ya. 8, Shen 1, Yuan 1, Zuo 0, Huang (L)
Foton Pilipinas (0) – Stalzer 9, Santiago 7, Usher 5, Maraño 4, Perez 3, Araneta 1, Gonzaga 1, Reyes (L)