Rebisco-PSL Manila put up a brave stand against title contender Supreme Chonburi VC of Thailand, but eventually dropped a 25-20, 25-12, 18-25, 27-25 decision on Monday evening in the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championships in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan.
After losing the first two sets against the import-laden Thai team, the Filipinas came alive in the third set to force an extension, with Jaja Santiago, Jovelyn Gonzaga, and Abigail Maraño leading the way.
To the surprise and delight of the crowd at the Boris Alexandrov Sports Palace, the Filipinas stunned the Thais in the third set, with Santiago firing spikes from every angle while Maraño conspired with setter Kim Fajardo for running hits.
Rebisco-PSL Manila sustained its form in the fourth set, forcing the Supreme VC coach to send his big guns back into the game.
The Thais seized control late, but Rebisco survived two match points, with Gonzaga coming up with clutch hits to extend the frame.
However, the Thais got a lift through a questionable call from a referee, who called a check in favor of Supreme despite replays showing that the attack went straight out.
Supreme then rejected Rebisco captain Mika Reyes at the net to secure the hard-fought win.
“We played well today, but the referees didn’t come our way,” said national team coach Francis Vicente, who lauded his wards for their inspired performance.
The Filipinas can still finish in fifth place in the tournament should they win their last two matches.
Santiago scored 22 points, while Gonzaga added 14. Maraño scored 13 points, three of which came on blocks. Ces Molina added five points, with Reyes and Fajardo each scoring three.
Supreme hiked its record to 4-0.
It was Rebisco’s fourth straight loss in the tournament, but Monday’s match was clearly the best game that the Filipinas have played so far in the competition.
Supreme import Fatou Niane Diouck accounted for 28 points, while Kongyot Ajcharaporn added 14 markers.
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