The valiant effort of the Philippine team in the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup for Women drew praise from Thai setter Pornpun Guedpard after their quarterfinal clash on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The Filipina spikers surrendered a 25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 25-9 loss to the mighty Thais, cutting short a spirited run in the tournament after taking back-to-back victories against Iran and South Korea in the elimination phase.
Behind Michele Gumabao and Tots Carlos, the PH team managed to stay close and even took a set win against the Southeast Asian Games gold medallist.
But Thailand showed its fangs in the fourth set with a variety of attacks that proved to be lethal, exposing the chinks on the armor of the Pinay tossers who were visibly in disarray in the middle of the Thai onslaught.
Despite the loss, the squad, composed of the PVL champs Creamline Cool Smashers, got a huge compliment from Guedpard, who replaced the highly rated Nootsara Tomkom in the Thailand lineup.
“We had to concentrate first (on) how to win today again. Our team (had to) think (about) how to beat the Philippines because (this year they have) a different (set of players from the previous) SEA Games (members),” said Guedpard.
The Thai playmaker also offered sweet words to the current pool of players from the Philippines, noting that the team they played with is “getting better.”
Jia Morado-de Guzman was delighted to hear the compliment of her Thai counterpart.
“(She’s a) very good setter. She’s the top controller of their offense talaga. And sobrang gamit na gamit niya ‘yong pace ng spikers niya. She’s a good leader also inside the court; she’s vocal and she’s one of the seniors already on their team. So we have to give it to her,” Morado-de Guzman said. (Nikole Javier)
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