PH team coach Francis Vicente sticks to positives in loss to Thailand: 'Lumaban naman tayo'
The Filipina spikers have less than a day to recover from a tough loss to Thailand before facing Chinese Taipei. Jaime Campos

BINAN, Laguna — Philippine coach Francis Vicente is confident tough hurdles like the straight-set loss to Thailand will only make the team stronger for future battles ahead of them.

Coming from a morale-boosting victory over Asian powerhouse Vietnam, the Pinay spikers came crashing back to earth at the hands of 10-time Southeast Asian Games champion Thailand, 21-25, 14-25, 20-25, in the quarterfinal match of the 19th AVC Asian Women’s Senior Championship on Tuesday at Alonte Sports Arena here.

“Yes, makikita mo ang difference (ng laro natin sa Thailand), world champion 'yan eh. Tayo ang tagal na natin hindi nagcha-champion at ilang araw pa lang tayo nakakapag-ensayo,” said Vicente.

“Eh sila ang tagal na nila na-expose sa international tournament. (Pero) lumaban naman tayo,” he added. 

[See Thais ease past Filipinas and into semifinals of Asian women’s volleyball]

Still, Vicente is optimistic that the team can bounce back when it faces Chinese Taipei in the classification phase for the fifth to eighth place on Wednesday.

“Pagsubok lahat 'yan eh (mga previous games) kung ano ang extent ng kaya naming gawin, kung ano ang nagiging problema pa ng team,” he said.

“Magiging baon natin 'yun mga nakaraang games natin, sa aming mga coaches, sa mga players,” he added.
The team has barely 24 hours to prepare for Chinese Taipei and Vincent shared that they will spend the night doing their homework.

“Pag-aaralan ulit natin ang Chinese Taipei,” he said. “Ang mga coaching staff lahat kami nagtutulungan, pati ang mga players they are free to give feedback also.”

[See Thai star Pleumjit Thinkaow lauds improvement of SEAG-bound PH team]

Game time is at 12:30 p.m.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinlozada