Valdez returns as PH repeats over Vietnam in ASEAN Grand Prix

STA. ROSA, Philippines – The Philippine women's volleyball team proved that its previous win against Vietnam was no fluke as it swept the visiting squad, 25-21, 25-23, 25-21 in the second leg of the ASEAN Grand Prix on Friday, October 4 at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex.

Alyssa Valdez did not disappoint in her return from injury as she fired 14 points to go with 6 excellent receptions while Ces Molina and Mylene Paat chipped in 13 points each.

The first leg's best blocker Majoy Baron had her moments in the 3rd frame to finish with 9 points, 3 coming from block kills, while Jia Morado dished out 17 excellent sets along with 10 excellent digs.

After a tight opening set, the Filipina spikers started to pull away late in the frame starting with a 3-0 blitz for a 22-19 lead.

The net defense of the national team anchored on Baron and Maraño electrified the Filipino crowd and neutralized the hot start of Vietnam in the 2nd frame as Valdez gave the Nationals a commanding 24-20 lead.

The Vietnamese squad, though, tried to extend the match after blasting a 5-0 rally that trimmed the Philippines' lead to just one, but Baron took charge late in the game and gave the Philippines a 24-19 advantage, enough to seal their debut win in the second leg.

Thi Kieu Trinh Hoang led the offense of Vietnam with 14 points while Tu Linh Tran and Thi Nga Bui added 10 and 8 markers each.

Thailand makes quick work off Indonesia

In the second game, defending champion Thailand swept Indonesia, 25-16, 25-17, 25-21.

Chatchu-on Moksri led the powerhouse squad with 18 markers and 7 excellent digs while Pimpichaya Kokram added 15 points. 

Pompun Guedpard directed Thailand's offense and dished out 18 excellent sets as Pleumjit Thinkaow nailed 3 of her 7 points from kill blocks. 

Meanwhile, Megawati Hangestri Pertiwi led the offense of Indonesia after drilling all her 12 points from spike kills while Arsela Nuari Purnama chipped in 7 points and 6 digs. 

Thailand will face the Philippine national team at 5 pm as the two squads vie for the solo lead. – Rappler.com