Alas Pilipinas fall to Vietnam in FIVB Challenger Cup opener

Vietnam quickly sent Alas packing in the FIVB Challenger Cup. Jade Moya
By Jonathan Salvacion

MANILA--Vietnam silenced a mammoth Filipino crowd at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium as the reigning AVC Challenge Cup champions quickly eliminated Alas Pilipinas from the FIVB Challenger Cup with a 25-14, 25-22, 25-21 win on Friday night.

Vietnam started the match strong, racing to a 10-5 lead against Alas.

Back-to-back hits from Bella Belen and Sisi Rondina brought the Philippines closer, 8-11, but Vietnam reasserted control of the first set after releasing strong serves and outlasting Alas in long rallies.

At the start of the second set, Vietnam mirrored their first set performance doubling against the Philippines in the first third of the set, 8-4.

Alas banked on the trio of Rondina, Belen, and Angel Canino to eventually tie the set at 12 apiece, but with Tran Thi Thanh Thuy banking on her superb leadership, Vietnam was able to right the ship again to take Set 2.

Alas Pilipinas failed to carry on the momentum they created in the second set, falling behind early against Vietnam, 8-2.

Alas found their way back into the match after pulling multiple scoring runs, and eventually, they took the lead in the set, 18-17, to the delight of their fans.

However, Vietnam recovered from there and never looked back.

Nguyen Thi Bich Tuyen exploded for 30 points on 27 attacks and three blocks to lead Vietnam, which will face the Czech Republic in the semifinals of the event that serves as a qualifier for next year's VNL.

Rondina had 15 points to lead Alas.

Follow the site on X: @DugoutPH