June 25, 2024

AVC: Jia de Guzman, Alas Pilipinas take down India for 2-0 start, seize Pool A lead

AVC: Jia de Guzman, Alas Pilipinas take down India for 2-0 start, seize Pool A lead
Alas Pilipinas stave off India for 2-0 start. | Photo (c) RM Chua/One Sports

The dream start continues.


Alas Pilipinas made it two victories on the spin after fending off India, 22-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-18, in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila on Friday night, May 24.


In a battle between two of the last undefeated countries in Pool A, the match started off with a back-and-forth struggle. However, momentum shifted to the Indians, after Radha Anagha and Jini Kovat Shaji heated up while Fifi Sharma and Julia Coronel coughed out costly errors.


After losing the opening set, Alas Pilipinas ripped a page out of their comeback against Australia a day ago, leaning on the playmaking brilliance of Jia De Guzman. 


With Eya Laure, Fifi Sharma, and Sisi Rondina activated, they managed to keep things close before Thea Gagate stepped up, rattling off a string of hits for a slim 19-17 lead.


A trade of blows then ensued until Canino took the scoring baton and nailed one point after another to even the set count at 1-1.


The Filipinas dictated the tempo from that point onward, seizing a 23-16 advantage in the third frame. Arah Panique then pummeled consecutive blows before De Guzman and Sharma sealed the set with a quick attack.


Come the fourth frame, Alas Pilipinas continued to assert their control over the Indians, sprinting to a 22-17 lead, courtesy of a Canino kill. Cherry Nunag then hammered down a quick right down the middle before Dawn Catindig scored off a clutch reception that caught India off guard.


The Indians saved one match point before Laure slammed the door shut with a thunderous cross court hammer.

 

Canino emerged as the leading scorer as she churned out 22 points built on 19 attacks, two aces, a block.


Laure also made her presence felt with 17 points, all but two coming from attacks, while Sharma and Gagate supplemented 12 points apiece.


On the other hand, India suffered its first defeat in three matches.


Soorya Soorya paced the losing side with 15 points, while Anagha and Anusree Poyilil managed to score 13 and 12, respectively.


The Philippines will gun for 3-0 when it takes on Iran on Saturday at 7 p.m., while India will attempt to get back on the winning track when it collides with Australia.

 

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


Both matches will be held tomorrow, May 25, at the same venue.