BIÑAN CITY, LAGUNA (UPDATED) – The Philippine Women’s Volleyball Team lostto the Olympic-caliber South Korea in 3 sets, 25-23, 25-18, 25-12, on Sunday, August 13 at the Alonte Sports Arena.
The 6-foot-4 2012 Summer Olympics Most Valuable Player Kim Yeon-Koung gave the Filipino audience a show of her speed and skill, as she played the most minutes against the host team in the league.
South Korea’s offense was also powered by Yang Hyo-Jin, who led the winning team with 13 points— 4 of which came from excellent blocks and 3 services aces. Kim Hee-Jin also showed consistency throughout the match, contributing 11 points.
From the Philippines’ side, National University star Jaja Santiago broke down South Korea’s defense and clinched 10 markers. On the other hand, Jovelyn Gonzaga made a statement to prove that she deserved to be part of the starting six in this match. Gonzaga and Valdez contributed 7 points apiece, with the former helping in floor defense with 5 excellent digs.
UAAP Season 79 Best Setter Kim Fajardo made 26 out of 70 excellent sets, which proved to be crucial in converting the points to Philippines’ favor.
The host team was able to open the first set with a neck-and-neck battle against the Asian powerhouse, as South Korea was only able to escape with a 1-point lead by the first technical timeout. South Korea’s clean play and minimal errors allowed them to easily reach match point (24-19), but a 4-0 run via the heroics of Aby Maraño cut the lead to 1 before Kim Yeon Koung closed the first set at 25-23.
The Philippines was able to show more composure earlier in the second set, pummeling through the South Korean defense. After a Santiago spike took the advantage for the Philippines (7-6), Valdez continued the momentum and garnered the Philippines’ largest lead at 10-7. However, South Korea immediately overtook the Philippines once again, as star players KYK, Yang and Kim Hee Jin were all present on the court. KYK nevertheless showed her dominance by finishing the second set (25-18).
South Korea established themselves in the third set, drawing first blood with a 4-0 run. As the Philippines experienced problems with their first ball receptions, South Korea widened the score gap enough to send KYK back to the bench (19-9), and eventually took the set and match at 25-12.
Team Philippines now stands at 1-2 in the 19th Asian Seniors Womens’ Volleyball Championships, while South Korea remains undefeated at 4-0.
Philippines will next face Vietnam on Monday, August 14, 2017 at 5:30 pm in the Alonte Sports Arena.
South Korea (75): Yang Hyo-Jin- 13, Kim Yeon-Koung- 12, Kim Hee-Jin- 11, Hwang Mink-Young- 7, Park Jeong-Ah- 6, Kim Mi-Youn- 5, Kim Yuri- 3
Philippines (53): Santiago- 10, Gonzaga- 7, Valdez- 7, Ortiz- 5, Marañ0- 4, Reyes- 4, Molina- 1, Fajardo- 1. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.