Vietnam spikers foil PH comeback bid


MANILA, Philippines — Vietnam held its ground in the face of a determined comeback by the Philippines, scoring a 21-25, 25-23, 25-19, 20-25, 15-8 victory Tuesday in women’s volleyball action of the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.


The Filipinas, led by Alyssa Valdez and Jovelyn Gonzaga, caught fire in the fourth to force a deciding set but failed to respond when the Vietnamese went on a big closing surge.


Thi Thanh Thuy Tran led Vietnam with 27 points. Thi Xuan Nguyen and Thi Nga Bui chipped in 15 and 14 points, respectively, while Thi Kieu Trinh Hoang added 10.


“The game was not for us. But the team gave its best, we even managed to extend the match to five sets but we still came up short,” said Philippine coach Shaq Delos Santos. “It was a lesson learned for us.”


Valdez led the Philippines with 22 points while Gonzaga, who sparked the comeback of the team in the fourth set, had 12 points. Ces Molina also had 12 markers while Majoy Baron added 10.


With the loss, the Philippines needs to win its last two games in the four-team field to keep its gold medal hopes. The top two teams will advance to the finals while the bottom two clash for the bronze.


The Filipinas battle defending champion Thailand on Thursday at 6 p.m.


The Thais overpowered Indonesia 25-13, 25-15, 25-9 on Tuesday to kick off their bid for a 12th straight crown.


Pumpichaya Kokram and Wilavan Apinyapong led the Thais with 15 and 10 points, respectively. (LO/IAMIGO/CNS)

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