Coming off a pair of tightly-contested matches the other day, the Philippine Women’s National Volleyball Team was left shell-shocked on Monday, suffering a massive beatdown at the hands of Hitachi Rivale, 11-25, 19-25, 13-25.
Only the second unit of Hitachi — which included Godfrey Okumu’s daughter Fuyumi Hawi Okumu Oba — played in the scrimmage in order to rest its main core, as the Japan V. Premier League is well underway. Still, Rivale outclassed the Filipinas with a straight-set decision.
The closest the Philippine delegates could get to a set victory was in the second frame.
Staring at a 10-23 deficit, team captain Aby Maraño rallied the Nationals. She then commandeered a 9-1 stampede, knocking within five, 19-24. Save for that brief moment, the Japanese were never threatened.
Given his team’s dismal outing, head coach Shaq Delos Santos lamented that the conditioning of his wards seemed to have dipped following a rest on Sunday.
“Sobrang ‘di okay ang galawan kasi ‘di naman gan’un ang usual na galaw natin noong nakaraan eh,” rued Delos Santos, who ordered the tricolor squad to take an extra hour of ball training right after the deflating loss to Hitachi.
“Yung ball training malaking bagay ‘yun kasi chineck ko rin ‘yung galaw ng players. Kailangan maka-adjust din kami. Kailangan bumilis ang middle tapos ‘yung timing setter dun sa spiker,” added Delos Santos.
“Chineck namin ang mga dapat ayusin namin, lalo na sa transition ng bola. ‘Yung timing ng bola from setter to spikers.”
The veteran mentor also attributed the underwhelming outing of his players to their morning schedule, which included a three-hour bus ride from Sagamihara to Hitachi volleyball gym in Hitachi, Ibaraki.
“Kanina sobrang tight din ng schedule. ‘Yung warm-up kulang din kanina medyo madalian din. Kaya ‘yung galawan din medyo mabagal,” admitted Delos Santos.
The Philippine contingents shall face Nittai University on Thurday to wrap up their series of friendly matches before returning to Manila on Friday.