ALTAY Volleyball Club of Kazakhstan withstood a gallant stand by a depleted Rebisco side, 23-25, 13-25, 17-25, in the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship on Friday at the Terminal 21 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
Kristina Belova, Nadiia Kodola and team captain Sana Anarkulova pounced on the youth-laden Rebisco that was left without Aby Marano, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Eya Laure and Ivy Lacsina who all have yet to be cleared by local health authorities.
In their place, Mhicaela Belen and Faith Nisperos put up a valiant stand especially in the first set against the more experienced and taller Kazakhs in their first international stint as members of the national senior team.
The Philippine squad gave the Kazakhs a hell of a fight in the first set and saved three match points, 17-24, in the third after veteran setter Rhea Dimaculangan checked in late in the game before Irina Kenzhebayeva nailed the game-clinching spike.
Kamille Cal was also impressive in her AVC debut, orchestrating the offense and nailing drop balls that caught the Kazakhs off-guard while Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron and Jema Galanza provided the leadership for the youthful squad.
Rebisco will continue its Pool B campaign on Saturday facing Thailand’s Supreme Chonburi, which took down Iran’s Saipa 25-23, 22-25, 25-13, 25-13.
Supreme Chonburi and Altay shared the early lead in Pool B, where the No. 1 team will earn an outright semifinal berth leaving the remaining three squads in a crossover quarterfinals against the clubs in Pool A.
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