THE gold medal bid of the Philippine women’s volleyball team in the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games has come to an end after bowing to Vietnam in three sets, 16-25, 21-25, 25-23, at the OCBC Arena Hall 2 in Singapore on Saturday.
The Philippine squad had no answer for Vietnam’s Thi Minh Do who finished with 13 kills including 12 converted spikes while Thi Ngoc Nguyen added eight. Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles Alyssa Valdez led the Philippines with 11 while Jaja Santiago chipped in 10 in a losing effort.
Philippines managed to tie the score at eight-all in the first set but a surge from the Vietnamese squad opened up a 15-8 lead over the Pinays until they clinched the set 25-16.
The second set was a different story as Philippines managed to claw back into the game by trimming down the Vietnam lead to 2, 19-21, after trailing by as much as eight points. But Vietnam thwarted the comeback attempt following two straight points which ultimately led to the Vietnamese win in the second set.
It couldn’t have gotten any closer in the third set when both teams were tied at 23-all. But it was Santiago’s botched attack that proved to be the biggest turning point for Vietnam after the ball went out of bounds giving the Vietnamese squad a 24-23 lead. Vietnam then sealed the deal after blocking Santiago in her kill attempt.
The biggest story in the game was the errors committed by the Philippines with a total of 32 while Vietnam committed twice less at 16.
The loss then derailed Philippines’ attempt to qualify for the semis after losing two of its three games. The Pinays lost their debut to Indonesia, 3-0, but came back with a dominating win over Malaysia in three sets.