The Filipina spikers suffered a painful setback at the hands of Vietnam, 20-25, 17-25, 19-25, that put them in a dangerous spot in the race for a semifinals berth in the 32nd Southeast Asia Games women’s volleyball tournament yesterday at the Olympic Complex Indoor Main Hall.
Vietnam’s glaring height advantage and relentless assault pounded the Philippines into submission, sending the Nationals crashing back to earth f after their dominating opening-day win over host Cambodia the night before.
The Vietnamese led by veteran internationalist Tran Thi Thanh Thuy claimed their second win in as many games following their 25-13, 25-8, 25-7, crushing of Singapore last Wednesday to take the solo top spot in Group B.
The Nationals, who seek to end an 18-year medal drought since winning bronze in the 2005 Manila edition of the biennial meet, slid to a 1-1 win-loss card.
For the Filipinas to advance to the crossover semifinals, they must win against Singapore today in their 6 p.m. match.
Skipper Alyssa Valdez did not see action for the second straight match.
Last year’s pandemic-delayed Hanoi Games silver medalists took control of the match after exhausting the Filipinas in the first frame.
A 12-6 blitz by Vietnam broke a 6-6 deadlock in the second set as the Nationals slowly faded amid their rivals’ charge. It was the same in the third with the Vietnamese taking an 18-11 advantage before cruising to victory sealed by a Thuy off the block smash.
Breezing past the inexperienced and newly-formed Cambodia squad, the Filipinas went off to a strong start and held a 14-9 lead after Mylene Paat smashed an off the block hit.
But the Vietnamese slowly crawled back with Thuy tying the set at 19. Four consecutive costly errors which started from a Tots Carlos service error gave Vietnam an opening to steal the lead with Thuy pushing her squad at set point, 24-20.
Doan Thi Xuan then stopped Kat Tolentino’s attack to hand Vietnam the opening set.