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Monday, April 15, 2024

PH spikers clinch AVC Cup quarterfinal berth

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The Philippines got the job done as it secured a place in the quarterfinals following a 25-18, 25-13, 25-17 romp of South Korea at the end of the AVC Cup for Women preliminary round Thursday at the Philsports Arena.     

Tots Carlos came through with 12 points, including two blocks, while Jema Galanza had 11 kills as the hosts ended their Pool A campaign with a 2-2 record in third place.     

Jema Galanza of the PH tries to keep the ball in play.

“These two wins are amazing for Philippine volleyball, it’s history—beating Iran and Korea for the last 30 years or more,” said Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Ramon “Tats” Suzara.

Coach Sherwin Meneses, who was part of the coaching staff of the national men’s volleyball team, which bagged the historic silver medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019, was delighted with the country’s accomplishment in the continental tournament.     

“We are so happy that we made it to the quarterfinals. Hopefully, we could have a better performance in the next round. We will try our very best,” said Meneses, who recently steered Creamline to a Premier Volleyball League title two weeks ago.     

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The Philippines will face a familiar foe in Thailand, which finished second in Pool B, in the quarterfinal round on Saturday.     

Regardless of the outcome, the national women’s team is assured of surpassing its ninth-place finish in the 2018 edition held in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.     

Ced Domingo had three blocks for a nine-point outing, while Michele Gumabao had three of her seven points from blocks.     

Meneses was able to get the needed contributions from the reserves, as national team debutants Lorie Bernardo, Pau Soriano and Rose Vargas combined for seven points.     

Bernardo fired two aces, the same output Domingo had in the service area.     

The loss – the fourth straight – ended the Koreans campaign as they finished in ninth place.     

Kim Seyul led the way for South Korea with nine points, while Hwang Jimin scored eight points.     

The other quarterfinal pairings pit Pool A’s No. 1 China against Pool B’s No. 4 Australia, Pool A’s No. 2 Vietnam opposite Pool B’s No. 3 Chinese-Taipei and Pool A’s No. 4 Iran versus Pool B’s No. 1 Japan.

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