The PLDT Home TVolution Power Pinays displayed their dominating form against India on Thursday, April 17 as the Philippine representatives opened their campaign at the 17th Princess Cup-Chang Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship with a straight set victory over India, 25-17, 26-24, 25-16.
The Power Pinays weren’t shy in showing what they can do on a volleyball court as they quickly took control of the match, leading early at 8-7 thanks to powerful quick hits by NU Lady Bulldog Jaja Santiago. The Philippines eventually managed to break free from India with a 20-13 lead before claiming a first set victory.
The second set was more of a challenge for the Power Pinays as they had to endure a deuce before Santiago put India away with a drop ball.
By the third set the Philippines was back in control as they cruised to their opening day triumph.
However, the win over India did not come without a hitch. Utility spiker Jovelyn Gonzaga was said to have sustained an injury in the first set according to updates on Facebook.
The club championship, held in Nakhonpathom, Thailand, will run from April 17 to 25 and will feature 10 countries vying for the title.
The Philippines is grouped in Pool B together with Kazakhstan, India, Chinese Taipei (Taipei), Singapore and China (Bohai Bank Tianjin).
In Pool A are Vietnam (Thong Tin Lienvietpostbank), Iran, Japan (Hisamitsu Spring) and hosts Thailand (Nakhonratchasima). Turkmenistan was originally included in Pool A but reportedly withdrew from the competition.
The Philippines is led by the final 12 of Angeli Tabaquero, Mary Jean Balse, Jheck Dionela, Arriane Argarin, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Honey Royse Tubino, Jaja Santiago, Lizlee Ann Gata, Suzanne Roces, and team captain Rachel Ann Daquis. Their two imports are Cuban Regla Bell-Mackenzie, a 3-time Olympic gold medalist, and Japanese setter Misao Tanyama.
Micmic Laborte and Mitch Datuin are their two reserves. They are head coached by Sammy Acaylar. The 14-woman pool traveled to Thailand early this month for a two-week training.