PETRON ended its campaign in the 2015 AVC Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship on a bitter note after absorbing a 24-26, 25-27, 26-24, 20-25 loss to Lienvietpost Bank of Vietnam at the close of the tournament Sunday at the Ha Nam Competition Hall in Vietnam.
It just took the Vietnamese an hour and 50 minutes to clinch the battle for seventh place, while the loss relegated the Philippines to eight spot – the same finish achieved by another Philippine quintet during the previous edition of the meet in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.
Bui Thi Nga delivered 22 hits while skipper Pham Thi Yen and Than Thu Trang chipped in 14 and 11 markers, respectively, for the erstwhile winless host country.
Bangkok Glass of Thailand dethroned Hisamitsu Seiyaku Springs of Japan for the title after an epic 25-22, 20-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12 during the championship game.
Zhejiang of China settled for third place after defeating Taiwan Power, 25-14, 25-15, 25-15.
Rachel Anne Daquis led the Philippine charge with 13 kills for a total of 16 points, while Frances Molina, Aby Marano, and Dindin Santiago-Manabat delivered 13, 12 and 11 markers, respectively, for Petron, which is using the tournament as part of its build up for the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix on Oct. 10.
"It's still a mission accomplished for us. I'm still proud of my team," said Petron coach George Pascua, who admitted that lack of experience was a big blow for them.
"Na-meet naman namin ang mga objectives namin like developing chemistry and finetuning our plays. Kaya lang kulang pa talaga tayo sa experience sa international tournaments kaya hindi tayo makasabay sa dulo. Konting tyaga pa at makukuha din natin yan," he added.
After claiming a hard-earned 26-24 set win in the third, Petron nearly erased a 7-16 deficit and moved closer to within 20-23, in the final stretch of the fourth set.
But a sloppy defense by the Blaze Spikers pushed the Vietnamese to a 24-20 edge en route to the victory.
"We really lack the experience," Pascua reiterated. "This tournament is different from the PSL. But this gave us a wonderful exposure to come back better and stronger next time."
Petron will be arriving in Manila at around noon of Tuesday.