THE Philippine women’s national volleyball team officially begins their quest for glory this Wednesday at the 19th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship, and Filipinos will be with them every step of the way as S+A, the ABS-CBN sports channel, will be airing the tournament on free TV and in high-definition on S+A HD.
Week one of the tourney begins with a match between Korea and New Zealand, which will be beamed live from the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna at 12:30pm, while the opening ceremony and the anticipated match between the Philippines and Hong Kong will be aired on primetime starting at 6:30 pm.
On Thursday, fans can catch the titanic match between powerhouses China and Japan at 12:30 p.m. while the Kazakhstan-Hong Kong and Thailand-Iran duels will be telecast at 6:30 p.m. Team Philippines will see action anew on Friday (Aug 11), as they tussle with Kazakhstan, followed by the showdown between Thailand and Chinese Taipei, which will air on primetime starting at 6:30 p.m. The weekend games consist of Korea-Vietnam on Saturday (August 12) at 12:30 p.m. with the start of the classification round opening on Sunday (August 13) also at 12:30 p.m.
Fourteen teams, including 2015 champion China will be competing in the prestigious biennial tournament, which offers a ticket to the 2018 AVC Asian Cup to the Top 8 finishers. The Philippine team, bannered by volleyball stars led by team captain Mika Reyes, Philippine volleyball phenom Alyssa Valdez, and 6’5 middle hitter Jaja Santiago will have to go through Kazakhstan and HongKong in Pool A, while heavy favorites Japan, China, and Australia are locked in a three-way battle for supremacy in Pool B. Pool C has Korea, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand, while Pool D is made up of our Southeast Asian neighbors Thailand and Chinese Taipei, with Iran, and Maldives.
Aside from the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna, some of the games will also be played at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex in Muntinlupa.
National coach Francis Vicente’s wards are upbeat going into competition, especially after pocketing a couple of hard-fought wins against foreign teams during their recent training tour in Malaysia and Japan, where they focused on polishing their blocking, floor defense, attacking, and scratching off what Coach Vicente describe as “bad habits.”
Although playing with home court advantage, Vicente previously said in a press conference that he has set a modest target for the team, gunning for at least a semifinals finish. Win or lose, he believes this will be a good experience for the team, which also includes Jovelyn Gonzaga, Aby Marano, Gen Casugod, Maika Ortiz, Ces Molina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Kim Dy, Kim Fajardo, Denden Lazaro, and Dawn Macandili.
Don’t miss any of the volleyball action in the 19th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship starting on Wednesday (August 9) on S+A and S+A HD with the game between Iran and Taiwan kicking things off followed by the primetime telecast of the tournament’s opening ceremony and the Hong Kong versus Philippines match at 6:30pm. For more information and stories, visit ABS-CBN’s sports hub sports.abs-cbn.com and follow @ABSCBNSports on Facebook and Twitter.