STA. ROSA, Laguna — The depleted women’s national volleyball team succumbed to Thailand, 12-25, 16-25, 10-25, in the ASEAN Grand Prix Second Leg on Saturday at the Sta. Rosa Multi-purpose Gym.
Playing without Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Maddie Madayag due to their Premier Volleyball League matches in Iloilo City, the 10-woman Philippines still managed to put up great start in each sets before the unbeaten Thailand dominated the home team in front of an ecstatic capacity crowd.
The Thais, who won five straight matches since ruling the First Leg, seized a perfect 2-0 win-loss record to inch a win shy of another gold medal finish in the Philippine Sea Games Organizing Committee Test event.
Pimpichaya Kokram led Thailand with 11 points. 1st Leg MVP Onuma Sittirak had 10 points off eight kills of 14 attempts, while Pleumjit Thinkaow and Malika Kanthong added seven markers apiece to prevail in just 64 minutes.
Thailand guns for sweep and second leg championship against the winless Vietnam on Sunday at 3 p.m.
“Alam namin kung anong klaseng team ang Thailand, so kami, ang best thing na magagawa namin para sa game, gagawin namin,” said Philippines coach Shaq Delos Santos. “But of course, nasa process pa rin kami ng team and hindi siya madaling gawin kasi hindi kami yung team na matagal nang binuo, at medyo kulang din sa time.”
Mylene Paat and Ces Molina led the undermanned Filipina Spikers with seven and six points, respectively. Majoy Baron and Grethcel Soltones added five hits each with Soltones also protecting the floor with 10 digs and nine excellent receptions.
Jasmin Nabor had 13 excellent sets, while liberos Dawn Macandili and Kath Arado protected the floor with 10 digs and seven receptions, respectively.
“Siyempre happy kasi nagdedeliver every time na gagamitin namin sila pero siyempre hindi pa rin kami ganoong ka-consistent kasi siyempre iba talaga yung galaw ng Thailand, so siguro tuloy-tuloy lang and I think makakarating din kami sa gusto namin,” Delos Santos added.
The Philippines gave up 21 errors unlike Thailand that almost played flawless with only nine miscues as it slid to 1-1 card tied with Indonesia.
The Pinays will have a complete roster on Sunday battling the Indonesians for the silver medal on Sunday at 5 p.m.