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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Alas Pilipinas clobbers Chinese-Taipei, completes sweep of AVC Challenge Cup elims

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Alas Pilipinas made quick work of winless Chinese-Taipei, pulling off a straight-set victory, 25-13, 25-21, 25-11, on a wet and rainy Sunday evening at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Key players Sisi Rondina and Fifi Sharma were given a well-deserved rest, as the Filipinas completed a four-game sweep of Pool A in the 2024 Asian Volleyball Confederation Challenge Cup for Women.

Eya Laure, supported by a younger set of players, led the charge in their 84-minute match. Coach Edson Souza de Brito strategically rested his more experienced players to prepare them for the semifinals clash with Kazakhstan on Tuesday.

“Now there’s enough time to put everyone in this game. Fifi and Sisi did not play today. They played in three tough games. They have to be ready for practice tomorrow and for Kazakhstan,” said de Brito.

Laure contributed 15 points, with 12 of them coming from attacks. The Filipinas will have a day’s rest before seeking their fifth consecutive win against a formidable Kazakh team.

The 5’7” Laure was particularly dominant in the third set, scoring seven points. She was pivotal during a decisive 7-3 run, which gave Alas Pilipinas an unassailable 14-4 lead.

Vanessa Gandler added 12 points, with her timely crosscourt spikes in the second set pushing the Filipinas ahead, 21-17.

Outside hitter Faith Nisperos sizzled with four of her eight points in the first set, her attack off a block breaking a 7-all tie and sparking a 4-0 run that propelled the Filipinas to an 18-10 lead.

Kazakhstan earned the right to face the Filipinas after a decisive 25-17, 25-18, 25-4 sweep of Hong Kong. Sana Anarkulova scored 22 points for the Kazakhs, who secured the second seed in Pool B with a 3-1 record.

Top-ranked Vietnam finished with a flawless 4-0 record in Pool B, following their 25-17, 25-15, 25-27, 25-13 triumph over Indonesia, led by Vi Thi Nhu Quynh’s 26 points.

Caitlin Tipping scored 30 points for the Australian Volleyroos, who defeated Iran, 26-24, 25-23, 25-27, 31-29, to finish 3-1 behind the Philippines, setting up a semifinals clash with Vietnam.

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