Philippines shoots for first win, faces Vietnam today

The Philippine women’s national volleyball team aims to break into the winning column of the 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix when it takes on fellow hapless Vietnam later.

Slated at 3 p.m. (Manila time) at the Terminal 21 Mall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, the Nationals are looking to wrap up the first leg of the tourney with a win in their pockets before heading home for the second leg.

This, after the Shaq delos Santos-mentored spikers absorbed back-to-back setbacks from the hands of Indonesia and Thailand.

The Philippines kicked off its campaign with a five-setter loss against Indonesia, squandering a 2-1 lead in sets and running out of steam during the deciding frame.

The Nationals then put on a valiant stand against Thailand, pulling the rug out from under the Asian heavyweight in the third set to stretch the match to four sets.

After two games, Ces Molina is the leading scorer for the national team with a total of 29 markers, followed by Kalei Mau’s 27 and Majoy Baron’s 24.

Molina, Mau and Baron are tipped to lead the charge anew against a Vietnam squad led by Thi Thanh Truy Tran, who denied Philippines of a bronze medal finish during the 2017 SEA Games.

The Philippines will then head home for the second leg to be held on October 4-6 at Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

(Image from Facebook/SMM Volleyball)

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Earning her stripes, Laure impresses as Philippines drag Thailand into four-setter

Eya Laure made her mark when the Philippines dragged heavyweight Thailand in a four-setter battle in the 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix earlier.

The youngest in the roster, Laure showed she has what it takes to be the next big thing for the country in the international stage.

The 20-year old outside hitter played quality minutes in the third set, holding her ground against Thai veterans Onuma Sittirak and Pleumjit Thinkaow in the team’s emphatic set steal from the Asian powerhouse.

In two full sets played in lieu of Kalei Mau, Laure managed to chip in eight markers, of which most came from spikes.

It was a good development for the University of Sto. Tomas stalwart, who only saw scarce minutes in the national team’s debut game loss against Indonesia yesterday.

Following her recent performance, Laure was lauded by the fans with her name peaking at no. 1 in the most talked about topic on Twitter.

User @VolleyNationPH said that the youngster just earned her right as a starter for the Philippines when it collides with Vietnam tomorrow.

Fans also said that while Laure is the youngest in the 14-woman troop, she managed to contribute during her short yet “successful” court time.

Some fans even called her as the “future” of Philippine volleyball after standing up against the likes of Pleumjit, Onuma and Malika Kanthong.

Meanwhile, Laure herself wrote: “Pilipinas, mahal na mahal namin kayo! 💛💙❤️ #LabanPilipinas 🇵🇭”

Laure and the national team plunge back to action tomorrow at 3 p.m. (Manila time) before going home for the second leg of the tourney to be held at Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

Tunay comes to Molina’s rescue, says ‘respeto lang bigay niyo na’

Mela Tunay came to the national team’s rescue after some of its players, most especially Ces Molina, drew negative criticisms last night following its loss against Indonesia in the 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix last night.

Molina was mostly at the receiving end of criticisms last night amid her team-high 18-point scoring output for the national team during its debut loss.

In a series of tweets, Tunay threw her support behind the squad, who surrendered the match in five sets, and defended Molina from her critics.

The Petron spiker said that while expressing personal observations is acceptable at some level as it is part of the crowd’s nature, using curse words and personally messaging the player are different.

“Gusto niyo ‘yung Philippine Team ka pero Pinoy ‘yung hihila sayo pababa? Ok lang kung observations e, pansinin lang ganyan, nature ng spectator yun e. pero yung murahin ka, imessage ka, personalin ka, choice na yun ng tao na masasama ang ugali talaga. Intense,” she wrote.

The opposite hitter also showed screenshots of people commenting under Molina’s photo, of whom one went on to say “isa kang kahihiyan” and “wala kang kwenta” to the outside hitter.

To this, Tunay responded, calling out the “below the belt” acts by some fans towards her Petron teammate.

“Isipin niyo kung ‘yung kakulangan o pagkakamali ng isang tao e ikinadagdag niyo sa pangbabash niyo sa kanya. Pucha. Sobrang below the belt na talaga ‘yung mga ganitong ugali. Kamag-anak niyo kaya sabihan ng ganyang salita?! Konting pigil din sa kasamaan ng ugali ha!” she said.

Further, she asked them to give Molina at least some ounce of respect for the commitment she has shown and the sacrifices she has made for the country.

“Pasensya na kasi siya ‘yung nandyan, siya ‘yung palaging nagte-training kahit kaliwa’t kanan ‘yung injuries niya, pinipilit niya indahin. Sa commitment at daming sacrifice nung tao, kahit KONTING RESPETO LANG BIGAY NIYO NA. Kung kating-kati kayo mang-bash, ‘wag niyo na i-tag, kapal niyo e,” she said.


“We love you all, mga ates! Konting tiis na lang sa hirap niyo diyan, at sa dagdag pahirap ng mga iba pang tao,” she added.

New twin towers: Baron, Madayag draw praise following their first game as teammates

Majoy Baron and Maddie Madayag proved their cases on why they are donning the tricolors.

The two towering middle blockers instantly made noise in their first match playing as teammates when the Philippines clashed with Indonesia in the opening salvo of the 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix earlier.

It was a welcome development for the two young players, who spent most, if not all, of their collegiate years trying to best each other suiting up for rivals La Salle and Ateneo.

Baron just came off her best outing in the international arena to date.

The La Salle alum registered 17 markers built on 11 kills, five blocks and an ace — the second most from the Philippines in this game next to Ces Molina’s 18.

Playing steady all throughout the five-set affair, Baron’s offense kept Indonesian defenders on their toes as she tallied 40.74 percent conversion rate.

Madayag, a late addition to the team following the departure of Jaja Santiago, also drew admiration from Filipino fans despite only playing three full sets.

Coming in for skipper Aby Maraño in the second frame, Madayag showed promise as she scored a total of seven points — the highest among the non-starting unit.

The UAAP Season 81 second Best Middle Blocker brought life to the Nationals after scoring off a one-two hit during the extended second set.

She was also instrumental when the national team took the third set in dominant fashion, pouring three of her total accumulated tallies in the said frame.

Following this, fans took to Twitter to praise the tandem’s performance.

Some went on to say that a new tandem has just been born in the wake of the Santiago sisters not seeing action.

Others pointed out the strength of each middle blocker, citing Baron’s impeccable net defense and Madayag’s sleek slide attacks.

Many, meanwhile, are hoping to see more action from them in the coming games as Philippines takes on Thailand tomorrow before tussling with Vietnam on Sunday.

Amid criticisms, Molina shines the brightest in PH’s five-set loss against Indonesia

If there’s a player who has been wading through a sea of criticisms every time she steps on the court, it’s Ces Molina.

For the past few years, Molina has been at the receiving end of criticisms may it be on her starting spot for PSL champions Petron or her place in the women’s national volleyball team.

But time and time again, Molina stood up and won against these adversities just like her style of play — silent but efficient.

The 24-year old outside hitter rose to the occasion and stepped up big during the Philippines’ five-set driller against Indonesia in the 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix earlier.

In lieu of Alyssa Valdez, who will not be seeing action after acquiring right ankle sprain last week, Molina manned the left wings along with national team debutant Kalei Mau.

In what could be her best game in the international arena, the San Beda University standout led the Philippines with team-high 18 points built on 16 kills and two blocks.

Hitting on a 40 percent conversion rate, Molina made her presence felt especially in the first three sets as she put on the finishing touches during the Nationals’ third set victory.

Aside from Molina, Mau, Majoy Baron, and Mylene Paat also finished in double figures, tallying 15, 17, and 12, respectively.

But their efforts went for naught as the Philippines surrendered to the Indonesians in five, 21-25, 28-26, 25-12, 18-25, 9-15, kicking off their campaign on a heartbreaking note.

Philippines runs out of gas against Indonesia, succumbs in five sets

The Philippines just ran out of gas when it succumbed to Indonesia in grueling five sets, 21-25, 28-26, 25-12, 18-25, 9-15, during the opener of the 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix, Friday at the Terminal 21 Mall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

Leading the match two sets to one, the Nationals could not solve the Indonesian puzzle in the next two frames to kick off their campaign on a sad note.

Ces Molina, Kalei Mau, Majoy Baron and Mylene Paat each came up with double figures all on a losing effort for the Philippines, who will face powerhouse Thailand tomorrow hoping to get its first win.

Molina led the charge with 18 while Baron, Mau and Paat scored 17,15 and 12 as the Nationals had the slight edge in blocks (13-11) whilst equalizing in attacks (61-61) against the Indonesians.

Arsela Nuari Purnama paced Indonesia with 18 markers whilst for other players from the winning team reached double digits.

Stretching the match to a fifth, Indonesia rallied to a 7-2 lead early before Philippines gunned for a four-point run to cut the deficit to one.

The Indonesians then pulled away for a 13-8 lead as Mau strike from the right side trying to keep her team alive before the former dropped the finishing kicks.

With Indonesia poised to take the match two sets to none, Philippines came back from a 24-22 deficit off Molina’s heroics.

Maddie Madayag and Mau came through in the extension to hand the lead to the Nationals, 25-26, followed by two consecutive errors from the Indonesian for the second set victory.

Getting their groove, Philippines cruised past the Indonesia in the third frame, taking the set to a commanding 21-9 blitz as Molina put on the final touches.

It was Indonesia’s turn to wax hot as they zoomed to a 19-12 cushion in the fourth, maintaining a seven-point lead down the stretch to force a rubber set.

Indonesia got off to a hot start burying Philippines in a 14-7 hole ballooning to a 24-17 advantage during the opening frame.

Shaking off some first game jitters, the Nationals then made a 4-0 run off Mau’s back-to-back kills before an error sealed the win for the Indonesians.

All eyes on Mau as Philippines battle Indonesia today

All eyes will be on Kalei Mau when the Philippine women’s national volleyball team battles Indonesia in the 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix today at the Terminal 21 Mall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

Coming off a 12-day training camp that included a set of tuneup matches, Mau will try to rally her troop against the Indonesians at 3 p.m. (Manila time) in the opening day of the three-day tourney.

Mau, the 6-foot-2, Fil-Hawaiin outside hitter who took the country by storm following her arrival last year, is tipped to be at the forefront of the national team’s offense with the absence of Alyssa Valdez and the Santiago sisters.

Valdez injured her right ankle days prior to her flight with the PVL stars to Thailand, hindering her from joining the camp and participating in the tournament.

Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat, meanwhile, are now in Japan with their respective clubs preparing for the 2019-2020 Japanese V.Premiere League.

But Mau will not be left alone to carry the scoring load as the Nationals will also parade last year’s breakthrough performer Mylene Paat and UAAP standouts Eya Laure and Maddie Madayag.

PSL champions Aby Maraño, Majoy Baron, Dawn Macandili, Ces Molina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Jovelyn Gonzaga are also expected to perform along with Alohi Robins-Hardy, Jia Morado, Kath Arado and Roselyn Doria.

The Nationals will test their mettle against 2017 SEA Games silver medalists Indonesia, who will lean on Amalia Fajrina Nabila, Novia Adriyanti and Wilda Siti Nurfhadilah as the Manganang sisters will not be seeing action.

(Image from Facebook/Philippine SuperLiga)

Nationals bow to Toray Arrows as PVL stars join the team

The Philippines women’s national volleyball team wrapped up their five-part tuneup series with a loss against Toray Arrows in Thailand.

Coming off five-setter victory over Bangkok University, the Nationals had no answer to the Arrows’ top-notch play, getting swept in 24-26, 16-25, 11-25, 18-25, 19-21, yesterday.

Unlike their previous games, the Shaq delos Santos-mentored spikers fell short of stealing a set when the first and final frames went to an extension.

This, amid the arrival of Premier Volleyball League (PVL) stars Jia Morado, Maddie Madayag, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Eya Laure, who arrived in Thailand yesterday after missing four games.

Philippines capped off the set of tuneup matches with one win in five outings, winning 8-out-of-23 sets played against Thailand’s U23 squad (twice), senior team, Bangkok University and Toray Arrows.

Delos Santos and his wards comprised of Aby Maraño, Kalei Mau, Dawn Macandili, Majoy Baron, Ces Molina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Kath Arado now set their sights on the forthcoming 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix which opens on September 20.

Also included in the roster that will clash against regional heavyweights Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam are Alohi Robins-Hardy, Mylene Paat, Roselyn Doria, Morado, Madayag, Gonzaga and Laure.

Alyssa Valdez, meanwhile, will miss the tourney as she acquired right ankle sprain last Friday, prompting her to rest for at least a week.

(Photo from Twitter/@marcreyesINQ)

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Tolentino’s 33-point eruption not enough as Choco Mucho yields to Motolite

Towering Kat Tolentino came out swinging when Choco Mucho slugged it out in cardiac five-setter battle against Motolite in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference 2019 earlier.

READ — Carlos, Molde take over as Motolite escapes Choco Mucho in cardiac five-setter

The 24-year old opposite hitter put the Flying Titans on her back all throughout the long affair as usual collaborator Maddie Madayag missed the game due to national team duties.

Following her 30-point explosion the last timeout, Tolentino erupted for 33 big markers, of which 12 were made during the opening set alone.

She connected 31 kills off 107 tries for a 28.97 percent conversion rate, producing almost half of her squad’s total 63 spikes whilst adding a block and an ace.

The UAAP Season 81 Best Opposite also did well even from the back court, complimenting Bang Pineda’s 31 digs with 21 of her own to complete a double-double performance.

But as she was left alone to carry the load, Choco Mucho succumbed to Motolite, 27-25, 25-15, 18-25, 17-25, 16-18, dropping their third straight five-setter outing for an alarming five-game skid.

No one aside from Tolentino cracked into double figures with Shannen Palec and Kim Gequillana managing nine and seven as Cindy Imbo, Arianne Angustia and Acy Masangkay scored six points apiece.

It was a complete opposite for Motolite as five players from the winning team scored in double figures.

Tots Carlos and Isa Molde fired 23 markers each while Bern Flora, Jessma Ramos and Aie Gannaban had 15, 13, and 11, respectively, as Motolite zoomed to no. 2 in the standings with a 6-2 card.

Tolentino and the Choco Mucho try to snap out of their funk against Chef’s Classic on September 21 while Motolite takes on Air Force on September 18.

(Image from Facebook/Sports Vision)

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Carlos, Molde take over as Motolite escapes Choco Mucho in cardiac five-setter

Showing character down the stretch, Motolite came back to life to eke out a five-setter thriller over Choco Mucho, 25-27, 15-25, 25-18, 25-17, 18-16, in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference 2019 at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.

Motolite erased a two-set deficit and came back from a 10-13 disadvantage in the deciding frame to complete a come-from-behind win at the expense of the Flying Titans.

For the second consecutive time following Myla Pablo’s injury, Tots Carlos and Isa Molde carried the scoring cudgels for the Godfrey Okumu-backed spikers who moved at no. 2 with an improved 6-2 tally.

Carlos and Molde connived for 46 big markers, tallying 23 hits apiece as Motolite wrapped up the first-round of the prelims on a high note sitting on a two-game winning crest.

Choco Mucho, who missed the services of skipper Maddie Madayag due to national team duties, leaned heavily on Kat Tolentino’s 33-point explosion to no avail as they lost their third straight five-setter match.

Now on a five-game skid, the Flying Titans will be marching to the second half of the prelims with only a couple of wins laced on top of six losses.

With their backs against the wall, Motolite shoot for a 14-7 blitz in the third and 24-17 cushion in the fourth to force an extension behind the heroics of Carlos and Molde.

The duo from University of the Philippines continued their good showing in the fourth, with Molde keeping her squad towards the endgame before a Bern Flora hit ended the game in favor of Motolite.

(Image from Facebook/Sports Vision)

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Jet Spikers bag third-straight win after rout of Lady Troopers

Philippine Air Force pulled the rug out from PacificTown Army after its three-set stunner, 25-22, 25-21, 25-19, in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference 2019, Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.

Suffering from five-game straight losses at the start of the tourney, the Lady Jet Spikers continued their uphill climb as they swept their Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) rivals Lady Troopers.

Now gaining altitude on a three-game winning streak, Air Force capped the round one of the preliminaries with a 3-5 mark.

Del Palomata showed the way as she scored 20 markers built on 17 kills and three blocks as the Lady Jet Spikers momentarily hold the no. 6 spot heading to the next round.

Army, meanwhile, absorbed their fourth loss for an identical 4-4 tally at fifth.

The Lady Troopers hope to bounce back against winless Chef’s Classic while the Lady Jet Spikers face Motolite on September 18.

(Image from Facebook/Sports Vision)

Valdez-less Creamline rolls past Chef’s Classic for 9-0 mark

Missing the service of the injured Alyssa Valdez, Creamline extended its unbeaten streak after making short work of Chef’s Classic, 25-11, 25-14, 25-21, Saturday in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference 2019 at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.

Coming off a scintillating first-round sweep, the Cool Smashers were in control from start to finish to complete a preliminary head-to-head mastery on the hapless Lady Red Spikers.

Valdez was out for at least a week after acquiring a right ankle sprain, further hindering her from joining the national team’s training and 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix stint in Thailand.

Stepping up for its injured skipper was Fille Cainglet-Cayetano as she scored nine points for the defending champs wh9 stretched their unblemished run to eight.

The ladies in pink also drew ample contributions from Michele Gumabao, Jema Galanza, and Risa Sato, combining for 23 markers to tow their troop atop the standings with a four-win difference over second-seed PetroGazz (5-2).

Chef’s Classic was still winless in eight tries to remain at the bottom of the heap, with Nieza Viray tallying eight points on a losing effort.

Up next for Creamline is low-seeded BaliPure while Chef’s Classic takes on PacificTown Army on September 18. Both games will be played at FilOil Flying V Center.

(Image from Facebook/Sports Vision)

Valdez to miss Thailand training due to ankle injury

Ace hitter Alyssa Valdez will miss the Philippines’ training camp in Thailand as she injured her ankle, Republic Biscuit Corporation (REBISCO) reported on Friday night.

In a Facebook post, REBISCO revealed that Valdez will instead undergo physical therapy following the injury, hindering her from joining the women’s volleyball national team’s 12-day training camp.

“Let’s give our love and all-out support to our Phenom Alyssa Valdez who injured her ankle. Because of this, she won’t be able to train in Thailand as she was advised to undergo physical therapy,” REBISCO wrote.

There are no words yet on whether the Creamline star will be able to play in the forthcoming 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix which opens on September 20.

Valdez, Jia Morado, Maddie Madayag, Jovelyn Gonzaga, and Eya Laure are set to leave on Sunday to join the 10-woman pack led by Aby Maraño, Kalei Mau, Mylene Paat and Dawn Macandili in their overseas training in preparation for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

Sans the service of Valdez, the Nationals lost three matches against Thailand’s U23 squad and senior team before they finally carved out a victory yesterday.

Philippines cops first win in Thailand with sweep of Bangkok University

Falling short in their first three games, the Philippine national women’s volleyball team finally chalked a win as they defeated Bangkok University women’s volleyball team yesterday.

The Nationals flexed their muscles against Bangkok University, pulling out a 25-19, 25-19, 25-15, 26-24 win during the fourth installment of the 5-part series of tuneup games in Thailand.

The Shaq delos Santos-mentored spikers will wrap up the stacked training itinerary facing Japanese V.Premiere League powerhouse Toray Arrows, winner of the 2018-19 All-Japan Kurowashiki tournament, on September 15.

After bowing to Thailand’s U23 twice and senior team once, Philippines made sure to nab a morale-boosting victory from their opponents led by former Philippine SuperLiga and Premiere Volleyball League imports Sutadta Chuewulim and Jutarat Montripila.

Philippines squandered a two-set advantage in their opening match against the U23 squad, 25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 17-25, 13-15, before snatching one set in their five-set encounter with the senior team, 12-25, 19-25, 12-25, 23-25, 15-9.

The Nationals then clashed with the U23 spikers, 24-26, 26-24, 25-16, 20-25, though no rubber frame was played.

Leading the 10-woman pack are F2 Logistics’ Kalei Mau, Aby Maraño, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili, Kath Arado from Generika Ayala, Cignal’s Alohi Robins-Hardy, Roselyn Doria, and Mylene Paat, and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Ces Molina from Petron.

Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Maddie Madayag, and Eya Laure are set to join them tomorrow ahead of the forthcoming 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix, which opens on September 20.

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