Filipinas face first acid test in Asian Women’s Volleyball from Kazakhstan
The Philippines tries to get back at Kazakhstan, which won their match in the Asian meet in straight sets two years ago. Jerome Ascano

THE Philippines hopes to carry the momentum of the huge opening-day win as it battles Kazakhstan on Friday in the 19th AVC Asian Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championships at Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.

Although already assured of a quarterfinal spot, the Philippines will try to topple Kazakhstan, since the result of the pool matches will be taken into account in the second round.

The Philippines and Kazakhstan have earned their places with South Korea and Vietnam in Pool E for the second round, which will determine the quarterfinal placings.

The Filipinas opened with a straight-sets win over Hong Kong and advanced after Kazakhstan’s victory over HK.

[See Kazakhstan win over HK gives Philippine team free ride to Asian women's quarterfinals]

The Pinay spikers did not bother to go to the venue on Thursday to see the Kazakhs play and just stayed at the hotel to watch the match via livestreaming.

Coach Francis Vicente knows it will not be an easy match for the team led by Mika Reyes, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Jaja Santiago, Alyssa Valdez, Ces and Aiza Maizo Pontillas.

The last time the two countries played two years ago in the Asian meet, the Filipinas were beaten in straight sets.

“Alam nating malalaki 'yan (Kazakhstan), pero malalaki din naman tayo, malalaki ang puso natin,” he said, noting that he expects balanced scoring from the squad.

“Lahat naman 'yan key players, wala namang starting six diyan, walang laging first six. Lahat sila starting-caliber player. Kung sino 'yung kundisyon, doon kami. Ayaw namin mag-stick sa first six,” he said.

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