Alas reaches semis with 3-0 card

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
Alas reaches semis with 3-0 card
Angel Canino (left) and Eya Laure celebrate a point in Alas Pilipinas’ victory over India last Friday.
Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines — Like a bullet train, Philippine volleyball’s renaissance is fast approaching.

It was accelerated by Alas Pilipinas’ 25-16, 25-13, 25-15 decimation of Iran last night in the AVC Challenge Cup at the jampacked Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

The Filipinas continued their impressive showing, coming through with their best game of the tournament against the Iranians following a pair of electric wins over the Aussies and the Indians the last two days.

The third victory sent Alas Pilipinas to the semifinals and onward to its best finish after ending up seventh last year in Indonesia.

The host nation now has a chance to achieve what it hasn’t done for so long – a first podium finish since plucking a Southeast Asian Games bronze medal 19 years ago in Manila.

Alas Pilipinas could sweep Pool A when it squares off with Chinese Taipei, which sent its under-23 squad, tonight. Iran fell to 1-2.

Kazakhstan and Hong Kong pulled off emphatic results with the former blasting Indonesia, 25-17, 25-13, 25-22, and the latter smashing Singapore, 25-14, 25-12, 25-12, to stay in the semifinal hunt.

It was the second win in three starts for both the Kazakhs and the Hong Kongese, now joint second in Pool B behind the Vietnamese, the reigning champions who claimed the first semis seat after hurdling their first three assignments.

Vietnam will go for a four-game sweep of its group against Indonesia, which sent its juniors’ squad in this eight-day event.

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