After losing all their games at the preliminary round, Power Pinays finally found their rhythm and registered a back-to-back win at the classification round of the 17th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship in Nakorn Ratchasima, Thailand.
The Power Pinays entered the classification round ranked 16th of 16 participating countries, and was pooled in Group H along with India, Sri-Lanka and Myamar.
With a three set loss against India in the preliminary round, the Power Pinays scored their first victory last Monday by upending Sri Lanka 19-25, 25-18, 19-25, 25-23, 15-11 in five sets.
Inspired by their first win, the national women’s volleyball team was in full confidence when they faced regional neighbor Myanmar the following day.
The girls on Tuesday night easily disposed Myanmar in straight sets, 25-18, 25-22, 25-18.
Aiza Maizo spearheaded the squad with 11 points, including three straight crucial attacks in the third set, while NCAA standouts Honey Royse Tubino and Joy Benito combined for 21 markers.
Maizo rose to the occasion as she thumped an off the block attack, followed by a crosscourt hit and went off speed to put the Philippines in the forefront, 19-15, after the momentum swung to the opponent as Myanmar posted its biggest lead in the match, 14-11.
Their back-to-back win against Sri Lanka and Myanmar earns them 5 points, enough to rank 2nd to India in Pool H. India defeated Sri Lanka in straight sets to top Pool H with 7 points, while Sri Lanka was relegated to 3rd place with 4 points.
Both India and Philippines (rank 1 and 2 in Pool H) advance to the 9th to 12th classification games which will start on Thursday, September 19, 2013.
The Nationals are assured of at least a 12th or 9th spot at the highest for ranking 2nd in Pool H; a huge leap from their 16th rank when they entered the classification round.
The Power Pinays will face Australia, rank 1 of Pool G, in a crucial game on Thursday at 5:00pm to determine their chance to play for the 9th place.
A win against Australia will give the Power Pinays a chance to play for the 9th place match against the winner of India vs Indonesia match. While a defeat means they will be playing their last / final game for the 11th place!
Head coach Nes Pamilar thought that her squad already reached their goal.
“Sa tingin ko, ngayong pasok na tayo sa top 12, mission accomplished tayo diyan,” he said.
This is the first time in eight years that the Philippines sent a team in an international competition.
“Ang taas nung pressure nung una. Pero kami, trabaho lang,” said Pamilar, who formerly handled the Far Eastern University women’s team. “Ang tanging pananagutan namin eh magdala ng karangalan sa bansa.”
Backed by Philippine broadband Icon PLDT Home Fibr, the Power Pinays entry to the 9th – 12th classification round will hopefully prove all those doubting Thomases wrong.
God speed Power Pinays!