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BIÑAN City, Laguna – Philippines got off to a smashing start after a straight-set win over Hong Kong 25-21, 25-16, 25-17 in the 19th AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship at the Alonte Sports Arena.
The Filipinas had an arsenal full of explosives as Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Mika Reyes, and Ces Molina unloaded strong kills to break down Hong Kong’s defense at the net.
“’Di sa nagyayabang ako a. Expected ko manalo,” Philippines coach Francis Vicente said of the Wednesday match. “Pero sa larong ’yon, push pa natin, baka pwede pa mag-exceed sa maximum level nila.”
Valdez finished with 14 points while Santiago had 13. Molina added 7, Reyes chipped in 6, and Maizo-Pontillas and Gonzaga had 5 each.
Setter Kim Fajardo had tricks up her sleeve as she scored on a couple of smart plays for a total of 5 points while making her teammates look good the entire match with 26 of the team’s 39 excellent sets. Libero Denden Lazaro, despite nursing a hamstring injury, did an impressive job.
Vicente said their teamwork was what he expected from the team from the start.
“Dapat lang. Dapat lahat gumagawa. Hindi pwedeng isang tao lang. Team game ’yan,” he said. “Everybody should work hard. Hindi naman para sa sarili nila ’yan, para sa Pilipinas ’yan, flag dinadala sa dibdib.”
The Philippines holds a 1-0 win-loss card in Pool A and will face Kazakhstan today. A win by the Filipinas over the Kazakhs or a Kazakhs win over Hong Kong will earn them a slot in the AVC Asian Women’s Volleyball Cup next year.
Chim Wing Lam finished 7 points for Hong Kong. (SPIN.ph)