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The Philippine women’s national volleyball team’s road to a podium finish at the 31st Southeast Asian Games Vietnam 2021 started on a stellar note after a dominant sweep of Malaysia on Friday at the Đại Yên Arena in Quang Ninh.
Bannered by stars Jaja Santiago, Alyssa Valdez, Mylene Paat, Kat Tolentino, Ces Molina, and Ria Meneses, the Filipinas scored a 25-14, 25-20, 25-15 shutout of their opponents in their opening match.
Coach Jorge Souza de Brito’s wards took the first, 25-14 and then zoomed to an 8-1 lead in the second frame.
However, the Malaysians threatened to steal the second set, overcoming a large deficit and taking a 16-14 lead momentarily before some adjustments from the Philippine side averted trouble.
From there, Santiago and Paat took over to deliver the win for the Philippines.
It is only a five-team field in the women’s competition with the two squads joined by reigning medalists Thailand (gold), Vietnam (silver), and Indonesia (bronze).
For the 2021 SEA Games, the top two nations advance to the gold medal match while the third and fourth-ranked sides will play for the bronze.
The Philippines is eyeing its first podium finish in the meet since 2005 which it hosted.
AVC file photo