Philippine women's team, coach Francis Vicente bracing for big Vietnam fightback in SEAG volley
After a four-set home win over Vietnam, coach Francis Vicente is hoping the Filipinas can repeat the win in KL. Jerome Ascano

THE Philippine women’s volleyball team enters the Southeast Asian Games competition confident but wary as it faces Vietnam in its opening match on Friday at the MITEC Hall 8 in Kuala Lumpur.

It was only two weeks ago that the Philippines scored a stunning four-set victory over the Vietnamese in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship in Manila, but coach Francis Vicente is bracing for a big fightback from the 2015 SEA Games silver medalists.

“Ibang laban na naman itong SEA Games, yes, we won against them sa Asian (Senior Women’s Championship) but tapos na 'yun eh,” he said.

“Paghahandaan ulit namin sila knowing na sila din maghahanda laban sa amin,” he added. “Tinalo namin sila kaya I know na they are hungry (to get a payback).”

[See Proud moment for Philippine volleyball as hosts claim famous win over Vietnam]

The Philippines’ next assignment is host team Malaysia on Saturday.

A win by the Pinay spikers over the Vietnamese and the Malaysians will earn them a slot in the semifinals.

However, if the Philippines drops its first assignment, it will need to beat Malaysia and hope the hosts bow to Vietnam.

Fifth in the 2015 edition in Singapore, the Philippines is hoping to make the podium in Kuala Lumpur.

“Hopefully ito na ang maging start ng pag-angat ulit ng Philippine volleyball,” said Vicente.

“Madami-dami na din kaming pinagdaanan so sana makuha namin (ang podium finish).”

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