PHU LY, Vietnam -- Petron suffered yet another sorry setback, this time at the hands of Taiwan Power of Chinese Taipei 25-20, 25-16, 25-9 in the quarterfinals of the 2015 AVC Asian Women's Club Volleyball Championship Friday at the Ha Nam Competition Hall here.
The Blaze Spikers were simply overpowered throughout the one hour and seven minute battle as the Taiwanese paraded the core of their national team to grab the first semifinal seat of this tournament serving as qualifier for the FIVB World Women's Club Championship next year.
Taiwan Power will be joining the survivors in the battle between Bangkok Glass of Thailand and 4.25 Sports Club of North Korea; Hisamitsu Springs of Japan and Zhetyssu of Kazakhstan; and Zhejiang of China and Thong Tin Lietvietpost Bank of the host country in the semifinals.
Petron, on the other hand, formally kissed its championship hopes goodbye and was relegated to the battle for 5th to 9th places. It will face the loser between Kazakstan and Japan in the classification match at 5 pm (Manila time) on Saturday.
Nobody from Petron emerged with a double-digit in scoring as Aby Marano, Rachel Anne Daquis and Dindin Manabat delivered seven points apiece.
Brazilian reinforcement Rupia Inck Furtado added six markers while Erica Adachi had 44 of the team's 49 excellent sets.
“We ran against a strong and powerful team,” said Petron coach George Pascua, who said his other objective is to prepare and develop his team’s chemistry for the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix which starts on Oct. 10 at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.
“We may have failed to win the title, but we gained valuable experience which we can use in the PSL Grand Prix. Now that we're already out, the goal is to win our last couple of games to have a good finish.”
Skipper Chang Chen-Yi emerged as the biggest obstacle in the Blaze Spikers' bid to pull off a stunning upset as she delivered 14 kills for a total of 15 points while providing the backbone in the Taiwanese's offense in the latter part of the opening set where they crawled out of a 1-6 disadvantage.
Lee Tzu-Ying registered nine points while Chen Wan-Ting added seven markers for the Taiwanese, who stunned Southeast Asian heavyweight Bangkok Glass in the pool play.
“We had to make some adjustments,” said Taiwan Power coach Lin Ming-Hui. “The Philippines had a great start defensively. We had to adjust our offense to avoid their good floor defense.”
After a red-hot start in the first set, the Blaze Spikers suddenly unraveled as the strong Taiwanese side fortified its net defense, making it hard for Manabat and Furtado to operate.
Taiwan Power grabbed the lead entering the second technical timeout, 16-15, and was never seriously threatened from there.
“Babawi na lang kami bukas,” Pascua vowed. “Although malakas pa din ang makakalaban, at least nakikita namin kung ano ang areas na kailangan pa ng improvement.”