Volleyball: Pinays succumb to Iran team in Asian club championships

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Rebisco-PSL Manila put up another gallant effort, rocking the usually composed Sarmayeh Bank of Iran before falling short down to stretch to lose 25-23, 25-17, 29-27, in the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan on Tuesday.

The Filipinas put Sarmayeh Bank on its toes, particularly in the first and third frames, but suffered some unlucky breaks that allowed the Iranians to hack out the victory.

The Philippines were at set point twice in the third, 24-23 and 27-26, but each time, they committed errors that allowed Iran to regain its bearings.

For head coach Francis Vicente, their effort against the Iranian team showed that the team’s spirit is there. “But we need to work on many things, and this experience of playing a tight game at this level will surely help us along the way,” he said.

Iran led 15-11 in the third set when the Filipinos made a daring assault that tied the frame at 17. From there, Jaja Santiago, Rachel Anne Daquis, and Mika Reyes conspired for one last stand.

Santiago’s hit to the corner made it 24-23 but the Filipinos committed an error, and Mahsa Saberi scored an ace to turn the table.

Daquis’ off-speed attack shoved the Philippines to 27-26 but Iran fought back even harder, pounding the Filipino defenses for points off the blocks to preserve the win.

Santiago led Rebisco with 14 points, while Daquis contributed 10 markers. Kim Fajardo had four points on top of 57 excellent sets.

Sarmayeh was led by national player Esfehani Maedeh Borhani who scored 17 points while Kolaei Mahdien Khaje contributed 13 markers.

Rebisco-PSL Manila can duplicate the country’s best finish in the competition – seventh place – if it wins over either Vientin Bank of Vietnamn, or Taiwan Power of Chinese Taipei on Wednesday.

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