June 25, 2024

AVC: Alas Pilipinas look to shuffle deck of aces vs India

AVC: Alas Pilipinas look to shuffle deck of aces vs India
Alas Pilipinas take on India in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup. | Photo (c) RM Chua/One Sports

After a thrilling victory over Australia on Thursday night, the players of Alas Pilipinas are determined to extend their dream start in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup. 


However, standing in their way is a formidable and versatile opponent – India.


The Indians have demonstrated their ability to adapt their strategy based on their opponents. 


In their match against Iran, the Indians leaned heavily on their offense to secure the win. Conversely, against Chinese-Taipei, they focused on their net defense, accumulating an impressive 14 blocks. 

 

 

At the forefront of their attack is Anusree Poyilil, who delivered 16 and 13 points in their first two matches.

  

Complimenting her is Soorya Soorya, who had a standout performance against Chinese-Taipei with eight of the team's 14 blocks, showcasing her defensive prowess.

 


As the Philippines prepares for this critical match, head coach Jorge Souza De Brito pointed out that the Indians have the height advantage but his wards can more than make up for it in the skills department.


“They are taller than us but we can be faster than them. We have to take advantage of the skills that we have better than them,” De Brito said.


“In this case, the receive was good, we have a good setter and a lot of weapons, a lot of good players, middle blockers, opposite and everything.”

 

Jia De Guzman will be the linchpin for Alas Pilipinas, a role that will undoubtedly be a recurring theme throughout their campaign. Her playmaking brilliance not only unlocks the full potential of her teammates but also confounds opponents' defenses.


However, De Brito is looking to manage the fatigue of De Guzman and his other key players who played extensively against Australia. 


Along with De Guzman, Sisi Rondina, Eya Laure, Angel Canino, Fifi Sharma, Thea Gagate, and Dawn Catindig bore the brunt of the action, and their energy needs to be conserved for the tough stretch ahead.


Fortunately, a cadre of experienced veterans is ready to step up. 


Faith Nisperos, Vanie Gandler, Dell Palomata, Cherry Nunag, and Jen Nierva, among others, are waiting in the wings, providing valuable depth and versatility.


“We didn’t put the other guys also. So for [India], we’re gonna use other guys because they’re a little tired after the [campaign opener] but okay we’ll be good, better than this,” De Brito said.


The match will go into full swing on Friday, May 24, at 7:00 p.m.


“It’s always play better and win. Win is always the result after you play good,” De Brito stated.

 

The game will be aired on One Sports and the Pilipinas Live app.