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PH volleybelles face acid test in multi-titled defending champion Thais

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By Betheena Unite 

The Philippines' Jovelyn Gonzaga hammers one against Vietnam. (Alvin Kasiban)

The Philippines’ Jovelyn Gonzaga hammers one against Vietnam. (Alvin Kasiban)

“Puso” mentality is expected to be in full display when the Philippine women’s volleyball team face 11-time Southeast Asian Games champion Thailand today at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Falling short in their debut against Vietnam, the Filipinas try to bounce back and overcome the most celebrated volleyball team in the region, noting that “nothing is impossible if we put our hearts in the game.”

Said star Alyssa Valdez: “Nakaka-excite talaga (It’s really exciting) but I think, one thing we’ve learned today is that walang imposible kung sino man makakalaban naming.”

“Kung sino ang magbibigay ng buong buong puso sa laban, yun siguro yung mananalo.”

Winning a set against Thailand during the ASEAN Grand Prix was a good sign for the nationals, team captain Aby Maraño said.

A win over Vietnam could have put the Philippines in a better position to achieve their goal of a podium finish but the Nationals couldn’t sustain a strong start in losing a five-setter 21-25, 25-23, 25-19, 20-25, 15-8.

thriller.debut game.

But national team head coach Shaq delos Santos, who admitted that they played inconsistently throughout their last game, opted to focus on each game first before minding the results or podium finish in that matter.

“I think the best that we can do right now is to focus on our next game — Thailand. We will have to think about going up against them first before thinking about the result because once we work on it one at a time, I think we will get a good result. So, we cannot worry about a lot of things at the same time,” Delos Santos said in Filipino.

The Philippine mentor also said they have to work on the consistencies of their offense and defense.

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