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Pinays falter in opening match against Indonesia

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After a decade of absence from the SEA Games, the Philippine Women’s Volleyball Team re-entered the tournament with a resounding straight-set loss to a veteran Indonesia side, 25-22, 25-20, 25-14, at the 2015 Southeast Asian Games hosted by Singapore.

Backed by a gallery of Pinoys at the venue, the Nationals were able to get off to early leads in the first two sets. However, the Indonesians got into their groove as the sets went on and proceeded to outclass the Philippines. The Pinays started the match off at blistering pace as a Daquis down the line rocket put PHI up, 4-1. The Philippines were unable to sustain their momentum though, and allowed the Indonesians to slowly creep back into the set, eventually forcing an 11-all tie. Both teams traded points from there until Indonesia permanently took the lead, 20-19, off brilliant floor defense. The Indonesians stymied the Pinay offense from there and took the set after a resounding block on Alyssa Valdez.

The Philippines mirrored their first set effort and took another 4- 1 lead in the second frame off a Jaja Santiago quick kill before the Indonesians stormed back. The Philippines gave up six consecutive points, 7-4, and fell behind by as much as six, 17-11 as the Indonesians continued to bombard the Pinays with powerful kills. The Nationals, however, put together a last ditch run, trimming the deficit down to one, 18-19 as the Indonesian floor defense took a momentary dive. the Indonesians responded emphatically and finished the set off by winning six of the last seven points and a comfortable 2-0 sets lead.

The final set saw a deflated effort from the Nationals as they seemingly let their foes have their way. Scouted extremely well by the opposing side, Philippines’ Flag Bearer, Alyssa Valdez still managed a game-high 15 points on 32 attack attempts. However, Valdez was the only National who cobbled together a decent offensive performance. NU’s Jaja Santiago managee only seven points while team captain, Jovelyn Gonzaga scored just two markers. Overall, Indonesia’s offense spelled the difference in the match, out attacking the Pinays 41-28.

After facing protests with regards to her true gender from her opponents in the days leading up to the match, Indonesia’s April Manganang was masterful in their opening match triumph, leading her team with 13 points.

The Philippines will face Malaysia tomorrow. They will need to win their last two groups matches to solidly their bid in advancing to the next round.

The Scores

INA (3) – Manganang 13, Sari 11, Nabila 10, Sugandi 8, Salsabila 8, Yami 3, Pangestuti 1, Lutfe 1, Rekta 0, Wilandari (L)

PHI (0) – Valdez 15, Santiago 7, Daquis 4, Maraño 3, Gonazaga 2, Morado 2, Manabat 1, Lazaro (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.

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