The Philippine women’s national volleyball team opened its campaign in the 31st Southeast Asian Games on a resounding note, routing Malaysia, 25-14, 25-20, and 25-15, on Friday at the Dai Yen Arena in Quang Ninh, Vietnam.

Jaja Santiago, the 2021 PVL Open Conference Most Valuable Player, was excellent on both sides of the ball, showcasing her power on hits and craftiness on net defense. Setter Kyle Negrito was equally impressive as she masterfully set her teammates up all game long.

After a dominant showing in the first set, the Filipinas continued their rampage in the second and raced off to an 8-1 lead. However, Malaysia rallied and even took a 17-14 lead. However, 2022 PVL Finals MVP Alyssa Valdez, Kat Tolentino, and Santiago all chimed in to stop the bleeding and give the driver’s seat back to the Philippines.

Blocker Ria Meneses and Ces Molina eventually put the finishing touches on the second set victory. The Philippines then put their foot on the gas pedal in the third and routed the Malaysians to complete the sweep.

Up next for the Philippines is reigning champion Thailand on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.