NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand – The Philippine team found itself on the losing end again opposite India as the Power Pinays absorbed yet another straight sets beating to settle for a 12th place finish in the 17th Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship Friday night at the MCC Hall of the Mall here.
The Filipina spikers came out flat in their final game of the tournament but still fought a gallant fight in a 25-19, 25-22, 25-16 loss against their taller and experienced opponent ranked 11th in the region.
The loss failed to avenge the Power Pinays’ defeat to the same Indian side during the opener of the 16-team biennial meet.
Coach Ernesto Pamilar shuffled his roster to find the right combination but to no avail.
“We tried our best,” said Pamilar. “Pero nangyayari talaga na lahat ng spiker mo walang laro.Nangyayari talaga yan.”
Aiza Maizo-Pontillas admitted playing erratic when it mattered most, saying, “Hindi naman sa excuse, pero may mga araw talaga na nangyayari `yung ganyan.”
“Palo, receive, dig, drop wala talaga eh,” she said. “Kahit anong gawin ko, di ako maka-puntos.”
Despite the loss, the Power Pinays made a good account of themselves in their maiden international tournament. Ranked last among the 16 competing nations, the Filipina spikers jumped five notches higher by finishing at 11th despite an eight-year absence in the meet
Evelyn Celis of the sponsoring PLDT HOME Fibr broadband lauded the Power Pinays’ effort despite being formed at the last minute and lacking in international exposure.
“Itaas niyo mga noo niyo,” said Celis. “Malaking bagay ang 12th place para sa mga baguhang tulad niyo. Nandito lang kami para suportahan kayo. Maraming salamat sa dedikasyon ninyo.”
Honey Royse Tubino paced the Power Pinays with eight points on seven attacks and a block, while Maizo-Pontillas added six points.
Meanwhile, Thailand pulled off a king-sized upset when it toppled 12-time winner and defending champion China in their semifinal encounter, 19-25, 25-19, 25-22, 21-25, 16-14.
The Thais vie for the title Saturday night against the winner of the other semifinal pairing between Korea and Japan.