PH volleyball settles for 8th place in 2018 Asian Games

The Philippines wraps up its first Asiad volleyball stint in 36 years with an eighth-place finish in the 11-team field

Beatrice Go

4:50:14am September 1, 2018

6:44:48am September 1, 2018

LAST STAND. Kim Fajardo sets up Dindin Santiago-Manabat for a hit during their final classification match against Indonesia. Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

LAST STAND. Kim Fajardo sets up Dindin Santiago-Manabat for a hit during their final classification match against Indonesia. Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

JAKARTA, Indonesia – The Philippine women's volleyball team settled for eighth place after falling to Indonesia in four sets, 25-17, 23-25, 25-19, 25-20, in the 2018 Asian Games on Saturday, September 1 at the GOR Bulungan stadium. 

Mylene Paat unloaded 10 points and Alyssa Valdez dropped 9 to lead the Nationals in their final classification match.

Team captain Aby Maraño also scored 6 as the Philippines wrapped up its first Asiad stint in 36 years with one win in seven games.

The Filipinas had a shot at fighting for fifth place in the 11-team field but wound up absorbing a five-set heartbreaker to Kazakhstan a day earlier.  

Indonesia, which dealt the Philippines a four-set beating in the preliminary round, again came out firing behind top hitter Aprilia Manganang.

But after the Indonesians' hot start, the Filipinas rallied back by capitalizing on the host country’s 13 errors in the 2nd set alone to level the contest at 1-1.

The Philippines, though, failed to sustain its momentum in the 3rd set and trailed Indonesia, 1-8. Paat came off the bench and towed the team within 3 points, 10-13, before the Indonesians again pulled away to take a 2-1 match advantage.

Although the Nationals held a slim 8-7 lead early in the 4th set, Indonesia’s 7-1 run cost them the chance of extending the match to a deciding set.

But the game was marred with erroneous calls, such as Dawn Macandili’s pancake save that did not count or the mishit to the antenna by the host team in the 4th set.

Maraño admittedly found it unfair, but said that the team will just work hard to prove that they also deserve to win.

For players like us, na nagsisimula pa lang, nagtiyatiyaga lang kami, magtitiis kami, kung parte ito ng journey namin, tatanggapin namin at hindi kami maghihinto magsanay at mag-ensayo pa,” said Maraño.

(For players like us who are just starting out, we’re going to work hard and persevere. If this is part of our journey, then we’re going to accept it and we’re not going to stop practicing and training.) 

Despite the results, coach Shaq delos Santos had said that the team's main goal was not just to compete but also learn from some of Asia's giants.

The Philippines' lone victory in the tournament came against Hong Kong in the elimination round.

Malayo pa kami, malayo pa,” said Delos Santos. “Pero naniniwala ako sa team namin na kaya naming umangat especially kung magagawa pa namin na maibigay yung time namin especially sa national team kasi sacrifice talaga.”

(We're nowhere near the competition. But I believe in our team, that we can improve especially if we give our time, because it’s really a sacrifice.)  – Rappler.com