PHU LY, Vietnam -- Petron failed to shine against a taller, heftier Zhettysu VC of Kazakhstan, surrendering a 17-25, 18-25, 20-25 outcome in the classification round of the 2015 AVC Asian Women's Club Volleyball Championship Saturday at the Ha Nam Competition Hall here.
The Blaze Spikers were outmatched throughout the entire one hour and nine minutes of action as the Kazakhs came up with a strong finishing kick in the second en route to an easy victory.
The loss relegated Petron to the battle for 7th place against the loser between 4.25 Sports Club of North Korea and Lietvietpost Bank of the host country in the penultimate day on Sunday.
Rachel Anne Daquis served as the lone bright spot for Petron as she came up with another gallant stand against the towering club in Central Asia, which has an average height of 6-foot-2 and is powered by 10 members of the Kazakhstan national women's team.
Daquis uncorked eight kills to finish with nine points while Dindin Manabat and reinforcement Rupia Inck Furtado tallied eight and seven points, respectively, for Petron, which is using this tournament to become a cohesive unit for their title-retention campaign in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix.
“They have the height and the reach, mahirap tapatan yun,” said Petron coach George Pascua, who remains optimistic despite the Blaze Spikers' string of misfortunes in the tournament which serves as qualifier for the FIVB World Women's Club Championship next year.
“We tried our best to neutralize and take that height advantage away from them. Pero matatangkad talaga eh. At least I saw the fighting spirit of the girls. I am still positive that they will go all out in our final game tomorrow.”
Power-hitting Victoria Yemialyanchyk and 6-foot-5 Tatyana Mudriskaya were simply dominant as they outmuscled the Blaze Spikers early on for an easy first set win.
Petron, however, was determined to take the second set with a slim one-point edge, 16-15, but the Kazakhs racked up nine seven consecutive points to build a 24-18 edge that crushed the morale of the Blaze Spikers.
Yemialyanchyk fired 16 points while Mudriskaya had a wonderful all-around performance of 10 kills and five blocks for 15 markers for Kazakhstan, which is one of the winningest clubs in this tourney with two titles together with heavyweights China, Thailand and Japan.
“We learned a lot of lessons in this tournament,” Pascua added. “We may have not won the crown, but we gained a lot of lessons which we can use in defending our crown in the PSL Grand Prix.”