Petron spikers no match to reigning champ Hisamitsu of Japan, fall in three sets
The Petron Blaze Spikers fell in three sets against defending champion Hisamitsu of Japan in the 2015 AVC Asian Club Women's Volleyball Championship. Dante Peralta

DEFENDING champion Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs of Japan made short work of Petron, 25-5, 25-16, 25-12, in the 2015 AVC Asian Club Women's Volleyball Championship late Tuesday at the Ha Nam Competition Hall in Vietnam.

Serbian reinforcement Tatjana Bokan delivered 16 points while veteran Yumi Mizuta was also impressive with eight kills for a total of 11 points.

Yuki Ishii and Miyu Nagaoka complemented Bokan and Mizuta as they chipped in eight and five points, respectively for Japan, which needed only an hour and seven minutes to close out the match.

Despite the loss, Petron coach George Pascua said the team gained enough experience which will definitely help the Blaze Spikers in their coming title retention bid in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix starting on October 10.

“Playing against these Asian superstars was a great experience for us,” said Pascua. “We may have lost the game, but we won a lot of experience which we could use when we compete in the PSL Grand Prix next month.”

Like a well-oiled machine behind a well-choreographed game plan, the Japanese zoomed to an early 8-1 advantage in the first technical timeout.

Skipper Maica Morada managed to squeeze in a kill to give Petron its second point, but Nagaoka, Ishii, and Bokan answered back with nine straight points to put Japan way ahead, 17-2, to completely crush the morale of the Blaze Spikers, who were coming off an impressive straight-set victory over Iran Monday night.

“I told them to target the Japanese spikers from the service box to throw them out of their comfort zone,” Pascua said. “But that plan also didn't work. The Japanese libero was everywhere. That team was so good and so disciplined to be beaten just like that.”

The Blaze Spikers wrap up their pool assignments against Zhejiang of China at 7 pm (Manila time) before competing in the classification match for 5th to 12th places on Friday.

But Petron faces a tough task finishing off the group stage as Zhejian is bannered by former national team members and seasoned international campaigners, who led the team to a five-set conquest of mighty Japan Monday to remain unscathed in three games. 

Dindin Manabat delivered all of her seven kills on spikes while Frances Molina and import Rupia Inck Furtado chipped in four points apiece for the Blaze Spikers, who were obviously star-strucked early on before somehow regaining their composure in the second set.

The lone bright spot for Petron, however, was Brazilian reinforcement Erica Adachi, who tallied 47 of Petron's 55 excellent sets.


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