MANILA, Philippines - PLDT Home TVolution Philippines tries to pull off a miracle of sorts as it clashes with powerhouse Al-Rayyan Qatar in today’s quarterfinal round of the 2014 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship presented by PLDT Home Fibr at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
The Power Pinoys made it this far after winding up second in the three-team Group A with a split of its two games but needed to lean on South Gas Club Sports Iraq’s victory over Mongolia last Saturday to clinch a spot in the Last 8 phase.
But the hosts will need more than luck and hard work to topple a fancied Qatar side in their 4 p.m. duel, one of the four explosive matches lined up in the day.
Al Rayyan, bannered by the power-hitting Italian Christian Savani, swept the four-team Group C and is a heavy favorite against the smaller Filipinos.
“Qatar is a tough match but we’re ready for our match and we will give it all,” said Phl coach Francis Vicente.
Qatar, which finished second last year, conceded just one set in four outings, which came in the third set of a 25-23, 25-20, 19-25, 25-16 win over Turkmenistan.
Qatar went on to hammer out straight set wins over No. 2 Kazakhstan, Oman and Hong Kong.
“We would need to play great, not just good, to beat Qatar,” said Vicente.
In consolation play, Duc Long Gia Lai Vietnam turned back Altain Bars Mongolia, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20, 25-23, to boost its bid for ninth place.