Nationals face tough Koreans in Asian tiff
(The Philippine Star) - August 12, 2017 - 4:00pm

Games today (Muntinlupa Gym)

10 a.m. Hong Kong vs Sri Lanka

12:30 p.m. Australia vs Maldives

(Alonte Gym)

10 a.m. Kazakhstan vs Vietnam

12:30 p.m. Japan vs Chinese Taipei

3 p.m. Thailand vs China

5:30 p.m. Korea vs Philippines

MANILA, Philippines - After a cakewalk against Hong Kong in the group stages, the Philippines knows the road to the pinnacle of the Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship gets tougher.

It started with taller Kazakhstan.

It will continue against powerhouse South Korea.

Eyeing nothing less than a miracle, the Nationals face off with the heavily favored Koreans, who finished second to the Chinese in the last edition of this same meet in Tianjin, China two years ago, in today’s classification round that will determine team positioning in the quarterfinals at the Alonte Gym in Biñan, Laguna.

After smashing Hong Kong, 25-21, 25-16, 25-17, Wednesday, the Nationals got a reality check and rammed into the bigger Kazakhs and absorbed a 23-25, 20-25, 18-25 loss Friday night.

Expect the worse against the Koreans, who trounced the Vietnamese, 25-23, 25-19, 17-25, 25-22, to sweep Pool C in three games.

Gametime is at 5:30 p.m.

Korea is expected to showcase Kim Yeon Koung, one of the best players in the world today.

Alyssa Valdez, undeniably the country’s best player after averaging a team-best 14 points in limited touches, professes her admiration to Kim.

“It’s going to be tougher but it will be good for everyone to face a tough team like Korea, it will help us in the end,” said Valdez, who will spearhead the country’s campaign in the Southeast Asian Games set Aug 19-31 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

After Korea, the Phl tackles Vietnam, which finished second in Pool C and being considered this early as a legitimate gold medal contender in the SEAG along with Asian power Thailand.

The results of this round will determine the positioning in the quarters.

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