ASEAN Grand Prix: Indonesia downs PH in opener

Mark Escarlote, ABS-CBN Sports

Posted at Sep 20 2019 07:55 PM

The Philippine national women's volleyball team squandered a 2-1 match lead as the Filipinas fall to Indonesia, 21-25, 28-26, 25-12, 18-25, 9-15, on Friday in the ASEAN Grand Prix at the Terminal 21 Mall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

A dry spell and a series of miscues buried the Pinay squad, 2-7, early in the fifth frame as the Indonesians turned the tables around with an inspired comeback in the fourth frame after getting pummeled by the PHI in the third.

The Filipinas rallied with four straight points to close in, 7-6, but a service error from Ces Molina gave Indonesia, who played without prolific scorer Aprilia Manganang and fielded a young core, the opening it needed to seal the victory in the inaugural staging of the four-nation tournament.

Molina and Majoy Baron led the PHI with 18 and 17 points, respectively, while Fil-American recruit Kalei Mau posted 15 markers in her first tour of duty.

Molina hammered 16 attacks with two kill blocks while Baron scored five of the Filipinas' 13 kill blocks to go with her 11 spikes. Mau pounded all but one of her points from attacks.

Mylene Paat had 12 while Maddie Madayag got seven markers in four sets of play for the PHI, which is missing the services of injured veteran hitter Alyssa Valdez.

The Nationals displayed nerves of steel in the extended second set and sustained their momentum in the third as they frustrated the Indonesians with a brick wall at the net.

But the Filipinas crumbled midway in the fourth and failed to recover in time with the Indonesians building a comfortable cushion in the fourth.

Arsela Nuari Purnama paced Indonesia with 18 points while Ratri Wulandari had 14 .

The Filipinas will face powerhouse Thailand on Sunday before wrapping up the first leg against Vietnam on Sunday.

This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.