Philippines drops Asiad volleyball opener against Thailand

By Gil Moriones

MANILA -- After 36 years of absence in Asiad, the women's volleyball team of the Philippines kicked off their campaign at the 18th Asian Games, but they tasted a straight-set defeat against rival and region's powerhouse Thailand at the Gelura Bung Karno Complex in Jakarta, Sunday.

The Philippines started strong at the first set but Thailand ensured that the Filipinas could not do anything to get this one in the last two sets for them to earn first win card at the Pool A.

Jaja Santiago and Alyssa Valdez led the rally for the Philippines to up their early lead to six, 8-2.

Team captain Aby MaraƱo then led the team in staying afloat despite Thailand closing in, and the combined efforts of Valdez, Dawn Macandili, and Kim Dy pushed the Philippines to a three-point cushion, 19-16.

But Thailand showed their supremacy, empowering their spans to finish first set with the win on their hand, 25-22.

The mightier Thais then easily spiked the opposition in the second and third sets to score double-digit wins against the Philippines.

Chatchu Moksri led Thailand with 15 points consisting of 10 spikes, three aces and two blocks.

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