June 25, 2024

Alas Pilipinas cut Australia down to size to open 2024 AVC Challenge Cup campaign in style

Alas Pilipinas cut Australia down to size to open 2024 AVC Challenge Cup campaign in style
Alas Pilipinas takes down Australia in a rousing opener. | Photo (c) RM Chua/One Sports

Alas Pilipinas are off to a triumphant start after scaling the taller Australian Volleyroos, 22-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-21, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila on Thursday night, May 23.

The Philippine women’s national volleyball team bucked an opening-set hiccup, shifting into a higher gear in the succeeding frames to stave off Australia.

The match began with a back-and-forth struggle as both teams refused to give way. However, the playmaking brilliance of Jia De Guzman, combined with the scoring prowess of Sisi Rondina, Eya Laure, and Angel Canino, propelled Alas Pilipinas to a 21-18 lead.


The Australians, though, capitalized on their height advantage and banked on their net defense to mount a set-clinching 7-1 run for an early buffer.

Despite such a meltdown, the Filipinas displayed grit and composure, seizing control in the second frame with a 23-18 advantage. Cassandra Dodd then coughed out an attack error before De Guzman and Thea Gagate linked up for a quick hit that tied the set count at 1-all.

The Philippines carried over momentum in the third frame, when the Filipinas once again brewed a perfect blend of veteran smarts and youthful vigor to establish a double-digit cushion at 24-14. Australia managed to save two set points, but Canino sealed the set with a differential hit.


Come the decisive fourth set, Alas Pilipinas sprinted to a 17-9 separation, courtesy of a Canino off-the-block hit. However, the Volleyroos tipped the scales to their favor and sliced the deficit down to three at 18-21.

Laure restored order with a cross-court hammer before De Guzman and Fifi Sharma bamboozled the defense with a quick attack for a 23-18 lead. Kara Inskip stopped the bleeding for Australia with a block on Rondina, but Sharma had a riposte to buoy her side at match point.

The Volleyroos tried to pump life into their resurgence. However, Rondina nailed the fatal blow.

Alas will gun for 2-0 against India tomorrow at 7:00 p.m., while Australia will attempt to get back on the winning track when it also takes on India on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.


The matches will air on One Sports, One Sports+, and the Pilipinas Live app.