REBISCO Philippines suffered another loss at the hands of Iran’s Saipa, 24-26, 25-22, 13-25, 17-25, in the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship on Sunday at the Terminal 21 competition hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
Mona Ashofteh and Mahsa Kadkhoda restored order for Iran after Rebisco's second-set revival as Saipa clinched third place in Pool B and forged a knockout quarterfinal against Pool A’s No. 2 team Zhetysu of Kazakhstan on Monday.
Rebisco placed last in Pool B and will take on Pool A leader Nakhon Ratchasima in the do-or-die quarterfinals on Monday.
The Filipina Spikers played their best game in the tournament so far as Dindin Santiago-Manabat joined hands with young guns Faith Nisperos and Mhicaela Belen to win the second set and tie the match at one set apiece.
However, Manabat and Co. lost steam in the last two sets, failing to contain the offensive fire power of the Iranians led by Ashofteh.
Ashofteh erupted with 26 points to deliver Saipa’s first win in the tournament.
Kadkhoda unleashed 18 spikes, three aces and a block for 22 points, while Pouran Zare provided five of the 12 team blocks to finish with 11 markers.
Manabat led the Filipina Spikers with 17 points built on 14 kills, two blocks and an ace, while Belen and Nisperos continued to lead the youth brigade with eight markers each.
Middle blockers Majoy Baron and Aby Marano were also instrumental in the team’s impressive second set rally and finished with seven markers each.
Eya Laure made the most of her extended minutes in the fourth set and gave Rebisco a last push with back-to-back kills, followed by a crucial attack from Imee Hernandez, to keep Saipa within striking distance, 17-22.
However, Zare halted the Filipinas’ late run before Ashofteh nailed the finishing touches with a block on Laure and a game-clinching spike.
Rebisco had a chance to win the first set after Manabat and Nisperos put the team at set point, 24-23, but Mahdieh Khajehkolaei forced a deuce and nailed the clinching attack to steal the opening frame for Iran.
Choco Mucho, the other Philippine club that also had a winless group stage campaign, is slated to take on Thailand’s Supreme Chonburi.
Kazakh club Altay earned the remaining outright semifinal berth in the group by beating Supreme Chonburi, 25-23, 25-12, 25-14.
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