Pinay spikers back on war path, wallop Burmese in 4
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - June 17, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Team Philippines bucked a first set setback and dominated Myanmar in the next three to essay a 20-25, 25-14, 25-10, 25-17 victory in the Asian Southeastern Zone Women’s Volleyball qualifier in Quang Tri, Vietnam late Saturday.

The POC-PSC Sports V-Belles actually blew an 8-5, 16-14 lead in the opening frame but put their act together from the second set to clobber their rivals and post the country’s first victory in international volley play in a long, long while.

The win came after the Filipina spikers absorbed a stinging 9-25, 11-25, 18-25 setback from Vietnam Friday at the start of the three-day event serving as a qualifier for this year’s Asian Zonals.

Dindin Santiago, held to just five points by the hosts in her international debut, settled down with her game as the top National U hitter rattled off 16 hits while Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez, who topscored for the team with nine points against Vietnam, sustained her top form and unleashed a 15-hit game.

Jaja Santiago, the other half of the tall Santiago sisters, likewise turned in an impressive game, finishing with 12 points, together with La Salle-Dasmariñas’ Iari Yongco, who had 10 hits.

Coach Roger Gorayeb also drew a combined 15-point output from UST’s Maika Ortiz and Rhea Dimaculangan, NU’s Rubie de Leon and Suzanne Roces.

The other members of the team, sponsored by Smart Communications and Accel and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee, are NU’s Myla Pablo and Jennylyn Reyes, Adamson’s Pau Soriano, and Jheck Dionela of Perpetual Help while NU’s Edjet Mabbayad and Ariel dela Cruz are the assistant coaches.

The Phl was battling Indonesia at presstime, hopeful of its chances against a team which boasts of a player that looks and plays like a man in Aprilia Mangarang, who scored 24 in a losing stand against fancied Vietnam, 1-3, also last Saturday.

Playing for the first time together abroad, the Pinay spikers appeared headed for another loss after losing control and dropping the opening set. But they came out for the second set an organized lot, their service reception holding that set up attacks on both sides and at center. They quickly seized an 8-4 lead before winning eight of the next 11 points to pull away, 16-7, and draw level.

With the Santiago sisters combining well with Valdez and Yongco, they sustained their charge in the third, taking eight of the first 10 points before posting a 16-8 en route to a 2-1 set lead.

The Burmese put up a tough stand in the fourth, keeping the game close in the early going (5-8) but the POC-PSC Sports V-Belles simply reasserted their might up front to storm to a 16-10 lead before finishing off their rivals behind Dindin Santiago and Valdez.

ALYSSA VALDEZ APRILIA MANGARANG ASIAN SOUTHEASTERN ZONE WOMEN ASIAN ZONALS COACH ROGER GORAYEB DINDIN SANTIAGO DINDIN SANTIAGO AND VALDEZ EDJET MABBAYAD AND ARIEL IARI YONGCO SPORTS V-BELLES
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