PH volleyball team sweeps Hong Kong in Asian Senior's debut

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 9) — The Philippine national women's vollleyball team bagged their first win at the 19th SMM Asian Senior Women's Volleyball Championship, sweeping Hong Kong, 25-21, 25-16, 25-17, in their opening game on Wednesday at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.

Star skipper Alyssa Valdez led the team with 14 points, all but one through spikes, including a hard-hitting open attack that won the tight opening frame.

Not far behind was six-foot-five National University stalwart Jaja Santiago with 13 points, whose consistent blocking, along with team captain Mika Reyes, frustrated Hong Kong's offense.

Ace playmaker Kim Fajardo proved her mastery over the ball as she delivered 26 excellent sets to her teammates, including veterans Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Ces Molina, and Maika Ortiz, who scored the winning point through an empathic running attack.

UAAP standout liberos Denden Lazaro and Dawn Macandili displayed solid floor defense, helping the team pile up excellent digs and reception, with 31 and 13, respectively.

Rhea Dimaculangan, Geneveve Casugod, Kim Kianna Dy, and Abigail Maraño were also part of the Philippine team's roster, led by head coach Francis Vicente.

Hong Kong's Wing Lam Chim topped their side of the scoreboard with seven points, while Man Lee Cheung dropped six.

The win guarantees the Philippine team a seat at the tournament's quarterfinal rounds, and a ticket to the 2018 Asian Women's Volleyball Cup.

The Filipina spikers will face Kazakhstan, their remaining Pool A opponent, on Friday, 5:30 p.m., also at the Alonte Sports Arena.