PH female spikers fall to Indonesia but a bronze finish still likely

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 17) – The bid of the Philippine women’s indoor volleyball team for a podium finish in the 31st Southeast Asian Games hangs in the balance after they fell to Indonesia in four sets, 23-25, 25-21,15-25, 20-25, on Tuesday at the Quang Ninh Gymnasium in Vietnam.

The Filipina spikers dropped to a 1-2 slate and are now facing a must-win situation in their last elimination round game against host nation Vietnam on Thursday for a chance to at least advance to the bronze medal match.

In the first set, Jaja Santiago and Kat Tolentino partnered to power the Philippines’ offense to lead 22-19.

But the Indonesians unleashed their kills and defensive stops down the stretch to record a 6-1 run and close the first set in their favor.

The Philippines regrouped in the second set as Ces Molina and Kyle Negrito joined the scoring fray to win the frame and tie the game.

Indonesia made some adjustments in the next two sets as they displayed their attacking prowess in their dominant third set win and efficient row attacks in the fourth set.

The Filipinas attempted to make a comeback as Tolentino and Alyssa Valdez scored three kills in saving match point, but a fast ball attack clinched the match for the Indonesians.

The Philippines will most likely advance to the bronze medal match, as the third and fourth placers in the round-robin tournament will dispute the medal color. Malaysia is the only team behind the Philippines in the team standings with a 0-3 record.