The Philippines fought back but found Kazakhstan’s size and skill a tough nut to crack as it eventually fell off in straight sets, 25-23, 25-20, 25-19, for its first loss in the 2017 Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna, Friday night.
The Filipinas had their moments during the game, especially in the opening set where they even led the powerhouse Kazakhstan team, 12-8, but ultimately lost track with the Kazakhs making full use of their height advantage to tighten up their defense.
Katerina Tatko, who led the 21st-ranked Kazakhstan in its last game, was the catalyst of her team anew as she finished with 20 points, built on 14 attacks, four service aces, and two blocks in a game that took 81 minutes to finish.
Yeketerina Zhdanova added 11 points, while Radmila Beresneva and Alessya Safronova combined for seven of Kazakhstan’s 17 block points to finish with nine and eight points, respectively.
The Kazakhstan team, who has an average height of 5-foot-11, towered over the Filipinas throughout the match, limiting the latter to just 28.91 attack percentage with its intimidating net defense. The block discrepancy also summed up the night with the Kazakhs tallying 17 to just three of the host team.
The quarterfinal-bound Philippines has South Korea next on the line, while Kazakhstan aims to keep its streak going when it battles Vietnam on Sunday.
Alyssa Valdez and Jaja Santiago led the Philippines anew with 14 and 13 points, respectively, but lacked support from their teammates who all combined for just 19 points.
From a 10-all count midway through the third, the Kazakhs suddenly dropped a telling 8-0 run to pull away, 18-10, before holding off a late Filipinas’ rally to seal the deal. –Julian Rikki C. Reyes/iOrbit News Contributor