MANILA—The Philippine women’s national volleyball team lost to the more experienced Vietnamese squad, 25-16, 25-20, 25-25, to bow out of contention in the 28th Southeast Asian Games volleyball competitions at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
Alyssa Valdes, Jaja Santiago and elder sister Dindin Santiago-Manabat put up a gallant stand in the third set as they took the lead, 23-22, but the Vietnamese, runner-up in the 2013 Myanmar Sea Games, came back in time to end the hope of the Filipinas. The setback was the Philippine squad’s second after losing the opening game to Indonesia, 25-22, 25-20, 25-14, last Wednesday. Its lone win was over Malaysia, 25-15, 25-16, 25-18 on Thursday.
Valdez had 11 kills while Jaja Santiago added 10.
Coach Roger Gorayeb said he was proud of the way his charges performed. “How I wish that this team was formed a year or two years ago. Of course, our goal was to make the semis and we didn’t meet it but at least they have now experienced the SEA Games.”
Gorayeb said that now is the time to invest more in the national team.
Meanwhile, two-time defending champion Nestor Cordova advanced into the men’s singles 1,000-meter sculls finals in rowing at the Marina Channel.
Cordova, a back-to-back gold medalist in the event at the 2011 Indonesia and 2013 Myanmar SEA Games, finished third in the repechage with a qualifying time of three minutes and 38.64 seconds to reach the finals on Sunday.
Also advancing was Justine Vinas, who was likewise third in the men’s 1,000-meter in 3:41.65.
“I believe Nestor was coasting, reserving his energy so he could give his all on Sunday,” said rowing chief Benjie Ramos of the 37-year-old veteran from Murcia, Negros Occidental who is known for his Mohawk haircut.
“But as I earlier said, Cordova’s rivals have also become stronger so let’s see what will happen,” Ramos said.
Aside from Cordova and Vinas, also seeing action in the rowing finals are Sydney Olympian Benjie Tolentino and Edgar Ilas in the men’s 1,000-meter lightweight double sculls and Alvin Amposta and Roque Abala Jr. in the men’s 1,000-meter open pairs.
In archery, Amaya Paz-Cojuangco likewise reached the finals in the women’s individual compound event also on Sunday at the Kallan Cricket field.
Paz-Cojuangco hopes for a third gold medal when she faces Malaysian Fatin Nurfatellah Mat Salleh in the finals. She won the gold in the 2005 and 2007 SEA Games.