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    Iraq scores straight-sets victory, sends Power Pinoys to battle for seventh place

    Apr 15, 2014
    The Philippines' Australian reinforcement Cedric Legrand is denied by Phil Mohammesali Falih and Metodi Aleksandaron Amaniev. Jerome Ascano

    IRAQ’s South Gas Club Sports repeated its straight-sets win over the Philippines on Tuesday and boosted its chances of finishing fifth, while shoving the Power Pinoys to a battle for 7th and 8th spots in the Asian Men's Club Volleyball Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    South Gas Club Sports’ 25-17, 25-21, 25-21 win moved it into the classification battle for 5th and 6th against Chinese Taipei, which downed Lebanon's Zahraa Al Minaa, 25-12, 25-23, 25-17. The Iraq side had also shut out Philippines PLDT TVolution in the group stage.

    The Power Pinoys look to finish seventh overall when it returns on Wednesday to play Lebanon's Zahraa Al Minaa.

    It was another heartbreaking straight-sets loss for the Power Pinoys, who were shut out by Qatar club Al-Rayan in the quarterfinals on Monday.

    Six-foot-6 Bulgarian reinforcement Aleksandaron Ananiev Metodi came up with 19 points from 15 spikes and four blocks, while Gani Hussein Mustafa added 11 for South Gas Club Sports.

    But South Gas Club Sports coach Khalaf Abdul Sa Alaa noted that while it was a quick convincing win, he wasn’t exactly pleased.

    “It is not our dream to be in position five or six, but this is volleyball," he said.

    Iraq also got little resistance from the Philippine squad, and Sa Alaa described the Power Pinoys’ game as “very very normal.”

    Australian import Cedric Legrand had 13 points for the Power Pinoys, Peter Torres added eight, while  Jeffrey Malabanan and Alnakran Abdilla chipped in six apiece.

    “Naging offensive minded kami nawala ang depensa at receive,” said Power Pinoys skipper Ian Fernandez, noting that Metodi is very tough to defend at the net.

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    “Halimaw,” he said referring to Metodi. “Siya ang go to guy talaga nila, kahit sinong kalaban nila siya ang gumagawa, ang laki nila ang pumatay sa atin. Unstoppable siya."

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    The Philippines' Australian reinforcement Cedric Legrand is denied by Phil Mohammesali Falih and Metodi Aleksandaron Amaniev. Jerome Ascano
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