PH volleybelle point out flaws following second at Asian Women’s Club tilt

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The Philippines Rebisco team suffered another loss, this time at the hands of Kazakhstan’s Zhetysu[Photo: Asian Volleyball Confederation / Eddy Phongphakthana]
The Philippines Rebisco team suffered another loss, this time at the hands of Kazakhstan’s Zhetysu[Photo: Asian Volleyball Confederation / Eddy Phongphakthana]

Team Choco Mucho is a team in no hurry to create a dent in the international arena, but one that could get better after every match.

“I think we lacked composure individually. That’s what we really need—maturity in the game, on ourselves, as well as working together as a team,” setter Deanna Wong said after Rebisco’s 22-25, 18-25, 15-25 loss to Kazakhstan’s Zhetysu in the 21st Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship on Saturday (Oct. 2) at Terminal 21 competition hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

For a team that trained only two months—much more having been formed a month or two more—the two “Cs,” cohesion and chemistry, are goals that aren’t achieved overnight.

“We would have to improve on these aspects by ourselves every day,” added Wong, whose teammates, whose participation in their first international sortie is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Rebisco, Taguig City, and Asics, wound up at the bottom of the three-team Pool A.

Coach Odjie Mamon said Choco Mucho they’ll have to work more on becoming a cohesive team and on how to ride momentum every time it presents itself.

“It was quite disappointing that we can play good touches in defense but cannot convert in offense,” Mamon said. “For now, we really have to work on the team’s cohesion and making their teamwork really come out in the game.”

Modestly for the team, Choco Mucho didn’t grope all game long and showed flashes of having learned from its first acid test, an 11-25, 26-28, 17-25 setback to Thailand’s Nakhon Ratchasima QminC VC on opening day Friday.

Choco Mucho’s blocking was solid behind middles Ria Meneses and national team debutant Dell Palomata, both defending the fort against the taller Kazakhs in the first two sets.

The Filipinas, however, lost steam in the third set as Zhetysu delivered a more solid offensive and defensive game to hammer out the straight-sets romp.

Choco Mucho will face the No. 2 squad in pool B on Monday (Oct.4).

With Wong as the starting playmaker, Choco Mucho had a better offensive game and kept the first set close before Zhetysu pulled away with five set points at 24-19.

Choco Mucho saved three set points, the last was on a Mylene Paat block before the Kazakhstan club took the set with a Tatyana Mashkova kill.

Call them a stubborn of a team that’s still making baby strides but Choco Mucho forced a 16-16 deadlock that sent shivers down the Kazakhs spines.

But the Kazakhs couldn’t be denied and with seven straight points sat on the driver’s seat with Palomata keeping Choco Mucho’s threat burning behind back-to-back blocks to peg the count at 18-23.

The nine-time Kazakhstan volleyball league winners never looked back after that.

The Sunday day off will allow Choco Mucho to regroup for a possible shot at a semifinal berth.

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