BINAN City, Laguna — Philippines got off to smashing start after a straight-set win over Hong Kong, 25-21, 25-16, 25-17, in the 19th AVC Asian Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championships on Wednesday at Alonte Sports Arena here.
The Pinay Spikers had an arsenal full of explosives as Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Mika Reyes and Ces Molina unloaded strong kills to break down Hong Kong’s defense at the net.
“‘Di sa nagyayabang ako ah, expected ko manalo,” said Philippines coach Francis Vicente. “Pero sa larong ‘yun, push pa natin, baka pwede pa mag-exceed sa maximum level nila.”
Valdez finished with 14 points, while Santiago had 13, Molina added seven, Reyes chipped in six and Maizo-Pontillas and Gonzaga each had five markers.
Setter Kim Fajardo had tricks up her sleeve as she scored on a couple of smart plays for a total of five points, while making her teammates look good the entire match with 26 of the team’s 39 excellent sets and libero Denden Lazaro, despite nursing a hamstring injury, did an impressive job.
Vicente, who was proud of his wards, said that their teamwork was what he expected from the team from the start.
“Dapat lang, dapat lahat gumagawa (silang lahat), hindi pwedeng isang tao lang, team game ‘yan,” he said.
“Everybody should work hard hindi naman para sa sarili nila ‘yan, para sa Pilipinas ‘yan, flag dinadala sa dibdib,” he added.
Philippines holds a 1-0 win-loss card in Pool A and will face Kazakhstan on Friday.
A win by the Pinay Spikers over the Kazakhs or a Kazakhs win over Hong Kong will earn them a slot in the AVC Asian Women’s Volleyball Cup next year.
Chim Wing Lam finished seven points for Hong Kong.