Korea star Kim Yeon Koung surprised to see Philippines 'playing really fast volleyball'
Kim Yeon Koung and the Koreans came up with another straight-sets win over the Philippines, but this time the Filipinas put up a tougher stand. Jaime Campos

BINAN, Laguna — It was likely not part of Korea's plan, but Asian volleyball star Kim Yeon Koung seemed pleased to get to play against the Philippines on Sunday after only watching from the sidelines when the Koreans ripped the Filipinas apart two years ago.

Asked if she was surprised with the new-look squad — only Kim Dy and Ces Molina returned from the Philippine team that Korea played two years ago — Kim was all praises for the home squad in the 19th AVC Asian Senior Women's Volleyball Championship on Sunday at the Alonte Sports Arena.

“Yes because it was so much different from before for sure and now they are playing really fast volleyball,” she said.

[See Korea continues fine play to deal Philippines second straight loss in Asian women's volleyball]

“And some of their players are really young and I know that they want to be better and improve in the future,” added the second best outside spiker in the 2015 edition.

In their previous meeting with Kim watching from the bench, the Korean squad easily beat the Philippines, 25-7, 25-8, 25-7. Korea came up with thrice as much as the Philippines’ attack points (41-12), doubled the blocks (6-3) and capitalized on the Filipinas’ weak reception (9-0 service aces) in 63 minutes of play.

The Koreans still wound up straight-sets winnners this time, but the Philippines came up with better numbers with 31 attacks against 44 by Korea, while also doing fine with blocks (2-5) and service aces (6-8).

“Today it was really great and I know from the Philippines before and now they are playing really good,” said Kim. 

[See Francis Vicente counts brave Philippine stand against Korea a moral victory]

Kim did not see action against New Zealand and Sri Lanka in the first two matches and played only in the fourth set against Vietnam.


She played in all three sets against the Philippines, though, when the Koreans turned to her as the home team made a surprise run.

“In the first set was close so and the second set we had to build our momentum to do better so I think it was the key that we changed our rhythm to be better,” said Kim.

[See Kazakhstan recovers from a set down to beat Vietnam as Thailand edges China in five in Asian volley tilt]

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