SEA VL: Indonesia ramps up bid for championship with win over PH spikers

Philippines vs. Indonesia at the 2023 Southeast Asia Volleyball League in Laguna on July 29, 2023. [PNVF photo]
Philippines vs. Indonesia at the 2023 Southeast Asia Volleyball League in Laguna on July 29, 2023. [PNVF photo]

Indonesia shored up its drive to another leg championship with a victory over the Philippines even as Vietnam pulled the rug from under Thailand in Day 2 of the Southeast Asia Volleyball League (V.League) second leg on Saturday, July 29, at the City of Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna.

Champions of the first leg in Jakarta last week, the Indonesians reasserted their dominance over the Filipinos, 25-20, 25-22, 25-20, as the Vietnamese exacted a thrilling vengeful win over the Thais, 25-20, 25-19, 28-30, 21-25, 15-9.

Indonesia improved to 2-0 won-lost, one win shy from the championship, while Vietnam dragged Thailand to a tie at 1-1.

The hosts are winless in two matches in the regional volleyball showpiece hosted by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation headed by Ramon “Tats” Suzara and presented by PLDT and backed by the City of Santa Rosa, Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Sports Commission, One Sports and Cignal.

Indonesia (light) celebrates against the Philippines (dark). [PNVF photo]
Indonesia (light) celebrates against the Philippines (dark). [PNVF photo]

Farhan Halim uncorked 19 points on 18 hits and an ace to lead the onslaught of the Indonesians, who clobbered Vietnam in Friday’s opener, 25-23, 21-25, 25-14, 25-23.

Doni Haryono and Dimas Saputra added 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the Southeast Asian Games champion. Indonesia also beat the Philippines in Jakarta, 25-20, 25-22, 25-19.

Steven Rotter, the Best Opposite Hitter in Leg 1, carried the fight for the Filipinos with 13 points as Bryan Bagunas settled for only seven after erupting for 25 points against Thailand.

Marck Espejo also had 10 points in a losing cause for the Philippines, which could not sustain the momentum from a gallant stand against the Thais before surrendering a close defeat in five sets, 24-26, 27-25, 25-21, 23-25, 14-16.

For Vietnam, five players racked up double digits led by Thuan Nguyen Ngoc and Tien Duong Van with 17 points each to avenge its 23-25, 26-28, 21-25 loss to Thailand in Jakarta.

Hiep Pham Van, Thuan Tu Thanh and Khai Truong The chipped in 13 points apiece.

The Philippines tackles Vietnam on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. with hopes of scoring a dominant win to earn a shot at finishing on the podium as Indonesia shoots for a sweep at 3:00 p.m. against Thailand.

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