SEA Games women’s volleyball: Philippines falls short to Vietnam in 5-set thriller

    MANILA, Philippines - Almost but not quite! The Philippines’ women’s volleyball team succumbed to Vietnam but the Filipina net setters made it hard for the Vietnamese to record their first win, 3-2 sets on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

    Led by Alyssa Valdez, the Philippines pushed Vietnam to the limit
    Led by Alyssa Valdez, the Philippines pushed Vietnam to the limit but failed in the 5th set in the 30th SEA Games Women’s Volleyball opener. Photo Credit: foxsports.ph

    With thousands of Filipinos cheering for the Nationals, the lady net setters’ confidence and morale were sky high and were very ecstatic to bag their first win of the tournament.

    Vietnam’s defense was really tough to break and it was quite a long rally after the opening service but it was Ces Molina who opened the scorebook in favor of the Philippines.

    The Vietnamese were able to extend their scoring run with the help of unforced errors and overshoots from Alyssa Valdez and the rest of the team.

    The Philippines came back strong and snatched the momentum from its rival to impose a 5-point lead and pushed Vietnam to call 2 consecutive timeouts.

    The Vietnamese led by Thi Thanh Thuy Tran (T4) rallied back at the final phase of the opener but Philippines held them off and closed out the 1st set 25-21.

    It was a good start for Team Philippines as the 2nd set was unfolded. They established a comfortable lead, but then again, the 6’4” T4 pushed hard to close the gap.

    2nd set was too close as both teams got into deadlocks multiple times until Vietnam turned the tides and grabbed the lead for the first time in the second.

    Vietnam didn’t look back after tasting the lead, 25-23 and levelled the set score 1-1.

    The Vietnamese carried onto the 3rd set with the momentum as they posted an early lead. The Nationals however were trying to catch up with the hopes of winning this set.

    Philippines finally caught up at 11 apiece but it was just momentarily as Vietnam went ahead once again.

    Coach Shaq delos Santos gave his SEAG first timers, Eya Laure and Maddie Madayag an opportunity to showcase their talents but the youngsters failed to lift up Team Philippines as Vietnam made it 2-1 with a 25-19 3rd set win.

    It was now or never for Philippines as Vietnam was just one set away from claiming the win. A ray of hope for the Filipinas as they put themselves ahead of the Vietnamese by 6 early in the fourth.

    Fans got slightly weary as Vietnam tied the game at 15-all but the Nationals recovered immediately for the fresh lead.

    Philippines’ gallant 3rd set run really paid off as they forced Vietnam to play set number 5, 25-20.

    Winning time for Philippines as Alyssa Valdez and Mary Joy Baron combined efforts offensively and defensively to cop the final set.

    Vietnam’s defense intensified and became its bread and butter in the final set as the Vietnamese had a handful of kill blocks.

    Team Philippines tried to bounce back but T4 and the Vietnamese were too tough and defeated the Nationals in their home turf, 15-8, 3-2 set score.

    Philippines will play against Thailand on Thursday and Indonesia on Saturday.

    — Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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