Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Power Pinoys off to rousing start

Games Today (Mall of Asia Arena)
12 noon – Iran vs Japan
2 p.m. – Oman vs Hong Kong
4 p.m. – Turkmekistan vs Kazakhstan
(Cuneta Astrodome)
4 p.m. – China vs Taipei
6 p.m. – UAE vs Papua New Guinea

Philippines-PLDT HOME TVolution proved too much for Mongolia-Altain Bars, pulling off a straight-set 25-13, 25-23, 25-16 win to open its title campaign on a high note in the 2014 Asian Men’s Volleyball Club Championship yesterday at the Mall of Asia Arena here.

Australian import Cedric Legrand starred for Power Pinoys with18 points, including 13 kills and three aces as in Pool A action.

Alnakran Abdilla provided the needed offensive support for the Power Pinoys with 12 hits, while National University standout Peter Torres and Australian setter William Lewis added five and four points, respectively.

With the win, the Power Pinoys need only to beat Iraq tomorrow to formalize their entry into the quarterfinals. They will take a rest today.

“It’s a great team performance for us. It’s a good way to boost our confidence,” said Legrand, a consistent member of the Australian junior national team. “But we can’t afford to commit those mistakes in the second set to the bigger teams.”

The Filipinos encountered some scary moments late in the second set when they relaxed a bit with coach Francis Vicente fielding in movie actor and first-timer Richard Gomez.

That allowed the Mongolians to close in at 23-22 from a 22-13 deficit.

Franco, however, redeemed himself after committing an error earlier with a powerful smash. Mongolian skipper Munkhbayar Ariunbayar’s own service error enabled the Power Pinoys to go up, 2-0.

Legrand led the charge for the PH team in the third frame with his whistling crosscourt spikes that inspired his teammates to contribute to the cause.

“Height is an advantage but we still lack speed. Hopefully we can improve in the next match,” said Vicente.

In the other match, Lebanon-Zahraa Al Minaa outlasted a stubborn Vietnam-Duc Long Gia Lai, 20-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-18, 15-13, in Pool B.

Jhonleen Baretto led the Lebanese crew with 24 points, but it was Bruno Furtado who stepped up at crunch time, firing nine points in the fifth set to finish with 23 points.

Over at the Cuneta Astrodome, Qatar-Al-Rayaan drubbed Turkmenistan-Migrasya, 25-23, 25-20, 19-25, 25-16, and Kazakhstan-Kondensat-Zhaikmunay pummeled Hong Kong-Green Dragons, 25-16, 25-17, 25-20.

Saikhanbaatar Erdenebat topscored for Mongolia with 13 points while skipper Munkhbayar Ariunbayar added 10 hits in a losing cause.

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