NEX Red Rockets of Japan proved too strong for Foton Pilipinas, scoring a 25-13, 25-7, 25-15 victory on Tuesday in the classification match to determine the quarterfinal pairings in the 2016 AVC Asian Women's Club Championship at Alonte Sports Arena.
The Japanese squad continued its dominant run, registering its third victory without dropping a set.
Foton looked helpless especially in the second set, when it managed to score its first point only when Sarina Koga committed a service error that made it 1-9.
EJ Laure gave the Filipinos their first kill in the second set at 5-19, and Aby Marano made it two straight points for the home team with a block, but Foton score only one more point after that.
Jovelyn Gonzaga admitted that the Japanese side was simply too much for Foton Pilipinas.
“Very strong to handle ang Japan kasi iba ang training level nila, mataas ang level nila kasi puhunan nila training, while us, we were just put together from other team,” said Gonzaga, tapped by Foton from RC Cola Army for this tournament.
“Someday makakapag put up din ang Philippines ng matibay na foundation sa volleyball and someday makakamatch na kami sa laro ng Japan,” she added.
NEC Red Rockets scored on 48 attack points, while Foton Pilipinas only had 14 kills in the match that took an hour and 22 minutes to finish.
The Red Rockets meet Thongtin Lien Viet Post Bank of Vietnam on Wednesday.
American import Ariel Usher scored seven points for Foton Pilipinas.
The Filipinos did score more on blocks than the Japanese, 6-4, and Red Rockets coach Akinori Yamada was impressed with Jaja Santiago, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Rhea Dimaculangan.
"The setter is good, Santiago is really good and Gonzaga can move really fast on the court," he said.
They face Altay VC of Kazakhstan on Wednesday.