Alas Pilipinas clinch bronze in historic fashion

A golden bronze for Alas. Cesca Rampas
By Gil Moriones

MANILA---The women's national volleyball team will enjoy their unexpected achievement under its new branding, Alas Pilipinas claimed the bronze as they win vs. Australia in 3-0 sets in their ultimate grit as witnessed by full crowd of the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in the concluding day of the 2024 Asian Women's Volleyball Challenge Cup, Wednesday afternoon. 

The newly-minted bronze medalist, which supervised by heavily-criticized Brazilian head tactician Jorge de Brito, will be the Philippines' first ever podium finish at any tournaments sanctioned by AVC and FIVB and to end their 19-year medal drought since the 2005 SEA Games. 

The National Volleybelles mauled the Women Volleyroos anew in a clean and dominant 3-0 sets compared to 3-1 in their opener match. 

Angel Canino, Sisi Rondina, and Eya Laure led the team in the attacking department contributing to overall 44 points compared to 24 made by the Aussies. 

Australia nearly chased and supposedly snatch the first set after they reached their 23rd point until Rondina finished it off from the backrow to end the 1st set in a close 25-23 in favor to Alas. 

Fifi Sharma scored a quick for the Alas to runaway their tally into 21-14 in the 2nd set while Canino scored her service ace and Jia De Guzman with her dump to bring the Alas into set point, 24-15 until Rondina again finished it off to make 2-0 for the Alas Pilipinas in 25-15 scoring set. 

The third set for the Alas Pilipinas was convincing because of the dominance and grit to finish without letting a chance to score for the Volleyroos. 

Canino with a faint which failed to defend by the foes to score a 10-3 run for the Nationals and Laure with her service ace to make the Alas' score gap into 10 points difference, 16-6. 

The Volleyroos scored their another one, 17-7, but the 8-0 run implemented with Rondina enjoyed "it has to be her" moment as she finished again the final set to officially claim the historic bronze medal for the Philippines in dominant 25-7 score sets. 

The Vietnam aced again the 2024 Asian Women's Volleyball Challenge Cup being the back-to-back champions and now qualified for the FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup after sweeping Kazakhstan in clean yet close 3-0 sets in the Finals. 

De Guzman named as the tournament's Best Setter while Canino declared as the Best Opposite Hitter. 

While Kazakhstan's Sana Anarkulova and Caitlin Tipping from Australia named as Best Outside Hitters, the Best Middle Blockers went to Yuliya Yakimova and Vietnamese Le Thanh Thuy, Nguyen Khanh Dang awarded as the Best Libero, and Nguyen Thi Bich Tuyen as the tournament's MVP.    

The next appearance for the Alas Pilipinas will be the FIVB Volleyball Women's Challenger Cup in July where the Philippines is the host. 

Alongside with the Philippines, the qualified teams like Vietnam, Kenya, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and two European teams as determining the finalists in their ongoing 2024 European Golden League will appear in the Knockout-format qualifier for the FIVB Women's Nation's League.