Pinay volleybelles in high spirits despite going to quarterfinals fresh from Kazakhstan loss
Alyssa Valdez smashes the Kazakhstan defense with a power play. Jerome Ascano

BIÑAN, Laguna — Despite a straight-set loss to Kazakhstan Friday night, Philippine team coach Francis Vicente said the team’s spirit remains high heading to the quarterfinals of the 19th AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship.

The Filipina volleybelles will face unbeaten Korea on Sunday at the Alonte Sports Arena here fresh from absorbing a 23-25, 20-25, 19-25 loss to the Kazakhs to end their campaign in the pool stage of the tournament.

Still, Vicente said the loss didn’t dampen the morale of the team, which clinched a berth in the AVC Asian Women’s Volleyball Cup next year by advancing in the quarterfinals here.

“Morale-boosting pa rin ‘yan, nakita niyo naman ang score hindi malayo. So maaring magtagpo pa rin kami sa bandang huli, maaring talunin pa namin (sila),” said Vicente following the loss.

Vicente also reminded his team that one loss doesn’t define who they are.

“A champion player always accepts losing and then study, saan ba tayo nagkulang? Kahit kaming coaches we will study, saan ba kami nagkulang?” he said.

The veteran mentor wanted the Filipinas to be proud of themselves after surpassing the country’s 12th place finish in the same tournament last year held in China.

“I’m proud of them, (sabi ko sa kanila) kapag lumabas kayo dito (sa venue) taas noo,” Vicente said.

The country’s highest finish in the meet remains at fifth place in 1983.

But the team is not about to be satisfied just by reaching its goal of making the quarterfinals. Vicente said they are aiming for more.

“Yes, yes (we will achieve) beyond sa goal. Gusto lang naming i-angat 'yung rank para happy lahat,” he said.

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