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RP volleybelles lose

NAKHON RATCHASIMA – A gutsy Philippine team went down fighting against an experienced opponent in India, losing in straight sets in its comeback game in the Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship in this provincial city of Thailand.

The Power Pinays absorbed a 25-22, 26-24, 25-12 beating against the no. 11 ranked team in the region, but not after giving the Indians all they could handle in the opening game of the meet’s 17th edition Friday.

Coach Ernesto Pamilar lauded the effort made by his team, but admitted lack of experience did the Power Pinays in as the country’s volleyball team is seeing action in only its first major international foray in the last eight years.

“Ang problema natin sa endgame, doon lumabas `yung pagiging bagito ng team,“ he said afterwards. “Nag-ingat masyado ang team. Hindi sila aware sa level of competition because of lack of exposure na din.“

The RP team, fully supported by PLDT Home Fibr broadband in its first stint in the biennial meet since 2005, takes on no. 8 Iran in its next game late Saturday in a must-win outing in Pool B to stay in the hunt for a quarterfinals berth. It meets defending champion and 12-time winner China on Sunday for its final assignment in the preliminary round.

Only the top two teams in each four groups will advance to the next round.

The Power Pinays were actually on the brink of winning the second set after forging the score at 24-all. Unfortunately, team captain Angge Tabaquero committed a service error, which the Indians were quick to pounce on in claiming the set.

“Unforced errors. `Yung mga service errors,“ Tabaquero admitted when asked what did the team in.

But Pamilar insisted inexperience on the part of the team contributed to its downfall.

“Alam mo, ang errors, dumadating talaga yan. Yung kalaban nga na babad sa international competitions, nag-e-error, tayo pa kaya?“ he said. “Kinulang lang talaga tayo sa communication at sa experience na din.“

He likewise praised the team for going toe-to-toe against its taller and higher-ranked foe especially in the first two sets.

“Ang ganda nung blocking natin nung una. Very effective. Maka-lusot man ang kalaban, nakaka-depensa naman sa likod,“ said Pamilar.

Aiza Maizo led the Power Pinays with eight points behind seven attacks and a block, while Tabaquero and Honey Rose Tubino added seven apiece.