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Tiebreaker Times

2016 Asian WCC

Foton faces top caliber competition in next group phase

Foton Pilipinas will have their work cut out for them if they want to reach their semifinals target in the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championships hosted at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.

The local contingent will face Japanese club NEC Red Rockets on Tuesday, September 6 at 1:30 pm, then Kazakstan’s Altay VC on Wednesday at 2:00 pm.

The defending PSL Grand Prix champs earned a 1-1 record in the initial group phase and will need to win at least one of their following matches to earn a better seed in the knockout quarterfinals on Friday.

Prized American Foton import Lindsay Stalzer is still not cleared to play in tomorrow’s match but head coach Fabio Menta believes there are other issues the team needs to work around other than Stalzer’s absence.AWCC-2016-Foton-vs.-Pocari-Sweat-HKG-Lindsay-Stalzer-6248 Foton faces top caliber competition in next group phase 2016 Asian WCC News PSL Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“For those who think we can reach semifinals, not with this team because we have too many issues inside the court even with Stalzer in the lineup,” said the Italian mentor.

“There are still players walking around the court, changing positions and not understanding that we the positions did not change. We lost so many points from so many silly mistakes that the result of the game was basically written,” he explained also citing several other details his team has yet to grasp.

Menta continued by stating he would need hours to thoroughly analyze everything his team lacks.

“Without Stalzer, we need to bring a more aggressive block and find a solution with our open hitter. Because of very poor mistakes and a lot of little errors, we haven’t been able to execute.

“In volleyball, Puso is not enough. We also need utak,” Menta expressed.

The NEC Rockets, on the other hand, are coming off a splendid campaign in the first group stage, beating Indonesia’s Jakarta Elektrik then Altay VC both in straight sets.

Japan-Sarina-Koga-over-Sana-Anarkulova-and-Alessya-Safronova-of-Kaz-_ Foton faces top caliber competition in next group phase 2016 Asian WCC News PSL Volleyball  - philippine sports news

NEC Red Rockets’ Sarina Koga (Photo by Roman Prospero)

“We are a small team but we just beat the tallest team in the tournament (Kazakstan). Volleyball is not just about height but about the skills as well,” said NEC head coach Akinori Yamada.

#ReadMore  2016 AVC Asian Women's Club Championship Awarding Ceremony

The Red Rockets are bannered by Olympian Sarina Koga, who dropped 14 points in their match against Kazakstan.

“The Philippines is a strong team they have good offense in [Jaja Santiago] and [Ariel Usher]. We have to watch out for them,” Yamada concluded.

Written By

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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