Connect with us
[adinserter block="13"] [adinserter block="3"]

Philippines sets up elimination match against China after heartbreaking loss to Taipei



The Pinays rode the crowd’s energy early in the match but couldn’t retain their hot start as they fell to Chinese Taipei in four sets, 25-21, 18-25, 12-25, 19-25 in the first AVC Under-23 tournament earlier today at the PhilSports Arena.

Host team captain, Alyssa Valdez, sparked a home crowd frenzy after scoring three of the Philippines’ first five points, pushing the Nationals to a 5-1 lead. Throughout the entire opening set, Taiwan struggled for form and kept giving up errors wherein at one point they handed the Philippines three consecutive miscues, buoying the hosts to a 14-8 advantage. Late in the set, the Philippines’ momentary lapses allowed Taipei to slice the Pinays’ lead down to one, 22-21, but the Nationals’ quickly responded with three straight points highlighted by the crowd willing Taipei into an attack error that gave the set to the Philippines.

However, the Republic of China quickly retaliated and cleaned up their act in the following sets. On the other hand, the Pinays’ ship began to sink with Taipei exposing several holes in their play. The second set saw the Philippines conceding seven consecutive points, five off errors to Taipei, which gave the visitors a 9-4 lead, ultimately winning the set. The Philippines’ service reception during the third set hit rock bottom when Taiwan zoomed past them, building a 14-4 lead and never looked back. The home team persevered to build an early 9-5 lead in the fourth and final set, only for the visitors to quickly dominate the scoreboards. The Philippines fought hard to keep pace with Taiwan, but the referee’s calls just didn’t go their way when two consecutive and hotly contested calls deflated their advance, opening the door for Taiwan to take the match handily.

“Kung napunta lang sana sa amin ‘yung mga tawag eh, sayang lang. Kasi nadoon na kami, humahabol na kami tas bigla kaming nawalan ng ere dahil sa mga tawag. Sayang,” said PH Coach, Roger Gorayeb.

Alyssa Valdez was her usual offensively explosive self dropping a total of 16 points. The 6’4 wunderkind Jaja Santiago paved the way for the team with eight points, while setter Jia Morado and open hitter Gretchel Soltones nabbed seven each. UST skippers Ej Laure and Ria Meneses scored their first points of the tournament with Laure scoring four, while Meneses got a point from a block late in the fourth set.

Taipei received impressive outings from their three representatives on the roster as Lee Tzu-Ying, Chen Tzu-Ya, and Tseng Wan-Ling combined for 39 of Taipei’s 62 earned points. They finished with a miniscule 25 errors, 10 less than the Nationals.

The Philippines now faces a tough challenge when they have to take down the U23 World Champion, China on Thursday to qualify for the Top 4 of the tournament. Should they lose, the Philippines will go through classification matches to round out the bottom half of the tournament’s Top 8.

“Ang maganda ngayon, nirerespeto na tayo ng mga team. Pinapanuod na nila tayo, kilala na nila ‘yung malalakas nating mga player. Kami, lalaban lang. Pagdating ng Thursday, palaban pa rin kami,” Gorayeb remarked.

The Scores:

Taipei (3) – Lee 15, Chen 13, Tseng 11, Hung 8, Huang 5, Wu C.T. 5, Wu W.H. 2, Lee 1, Chang 1, Wang 0, Lai (L)

Philippines (1) – Valdez 16, Santiago 8, Soltones 7, Morado 7, Laure 4, De Leon 3, Pablo 2, Sato 1, Meneses 1, De Jesus 0, Agno (L)


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.

Click to comment