PH women’s volley reaches podium in ASEAN Grand Prix 

PH women’s volley reaches podium in ASEAN Grand Prix
The Philippine women’s national volleyball team reached the medal podium in the just concluded second leg of ASEAN Grand Prix held at the Sta. Rosa Multi-purpose Gym.
The Pinoy lady spikers secured the bronze medal after dropping their match to Indonesia (21-25, 17-25, 25-21, 21-25) in the tournament that served as a test event for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
But it was the game against the powerhouse Thailand that broke the hearts of the team when they lost with the absence Alyssa Valdez, Maddie Madayag, Jia Morado and Jovelyn Gonzaga.
All four players had a prior commitment with their respective teams in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) that was held in Iloilo City, forcing the team to play with only 10 players.
Thailand captured the gold medal with a perfect 6-0 win-loss slate, which included victories in the first leg.
Valdez treats the setback as part of the training process for the nationals as they play in front of the home crowd with two months of preparation before the 30th Southeast Asian Games Philippines’ hosting on November 30 to December 11.
 “It’s saddening that we lost. But it’s one way of seeing what other things we need to improve on as a team and also as an individual. We are really looking forward sa mga positive things na mangyayari pa sa team namin for future training camps. So hopefully mag-improve pa kami as a team,” said the 26-year old Valdez.
Coach Shaq Delos Santos, on the other hand, believes that the team has to improve more in handling pressure and to make the home crowd an inspiration to win.
“We must focus on our service and receiving. We also need to handle the pressure pagdating sa mga ganitong labanan. Sobrang laki ng factor ng crowd, napakalaking advantage nila so we have to be inspired by them,” he said.
Right after some tournament commitments, the whole team will fly to Japan and focus on training for the upcoming biennial meet where they aim to finish at least a bronze medal.
The Philippines will bank on Kath Arado, Majoy Baron, Tots Carlos, Gel Cayuna, Celine Domingo, Jema Galanza, Eya Laure, Denden Lazaro, Dawn Macandili, Jerrili Malabanan, Aby Maraño, Kalei Mau, Ces Molina, Mylene Paat, MJ Phillips, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Mika Reyes, Alohi Robins-Hardy, Jaja Santiago, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Gonzaga, Morado, Madayag, and Valdez.(pr)

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