RACHEL Anne Daquis is no stranger to firepower, but what struck her the most during her most recent international stint is how their regional rivals have become too quick for the Philippines’ style of play.
The Philippine Super Liga selection went winless in the Thai-Denmark Super League in Bangkok, where the Filipinas found themselves struggling in fast-paced matches.
"Nakita namin yung mga kakulangan namin at kailangan pa namin i-improve," said the Philippine Army star. "Yung mga sets nila ambi-bilis, so siguro 'yun talaga ang kailangan i-improve ng ibang Filipino players, hindi lang kami na ipinadala dito."
Aby Marano agreed, saying it was a good experience playing against the likes of World Grand Prix campaigner Pleumjit Thinakaow, Asian Games stalwart Pornpun Guedpard and rising star Chatchu-on Moksri, who will be bannering Thai squad Est Cola in the final round of the PSL Invitationals.
"Yung mga nakalaban namin dito mga national team members at may imports pa," said Marano, the middle blocker of F2 Logistics.
"So given the limited time to prepare, hindi din kami ganun ka-competitive. But still, we gave them a very good fight."
Despite falling short, team officials say objectives were still met as the Petron-Philippine Superliga All-Stars went 0-3 in the tournament before scoring a morale-boosting win in a friendly against Hong Kong.
Head coach George Pascua said he liked what he saw in the PSL stars, who fought fine despite the short preparation.
The Filipinas lost in four to reigning Asian club champion Bangkok Glass, in straight sets to Idea Khonkaen and in four to 3BB Nokhonnont.
Pascua says the talent and skills of the Filipinas are not far behind, but lack of familiarity with each other's games doomed their chances.
"Four meetings lang kami nag-practice at hindi pa palagi kumpleto. Pero 'yung mga bata naman, lumaban ng husto with heart and pride. Hindi tayo nagpabugbog masyado dito."
"Pero dahil nga sa kakulangan ng preparation, hindi natin ma-sustain ang intensity natin hanggang sa huli."