June 09, 2024

Alas Girls score 2nd Princess Cup win, fend off Malaysia

Alas Pilipinas Girls secured their second consecutive victory by fending off Malaysia in a thrilling four-set match, 25-20, 27-29, 25-22, 25-18, at the 22nd Princess Cup Southeast Asian Under-18 Women’s Volleyball Championship on Sunday at the Nakhon Pathom Gymnasium in Thailand.

Fresh off a dominant performance against Singapore the previous day, the Philippines, which is backed by Akari, demonstrated their resilience, using a strong 8-3 finishing kick in the fourth set. This included a critical stretch of four consecutive points, propelling them to a 2-0 record in the six-team tournament.

Lianne Penuliar, Jaila Adrao, Akeyla Bartolabac, and Harlyn Serneche spearheaded the decisive fourth-set run, transforming a narrow 17-15 lead into a commanding 25-18 victory.

In the opening frame, the Philippines clung to a slim two-point lead at 17-15. However, they quickly extended their advantage with a 5-1 run led by Serneche, ultimately securing a 22-16 lead. Despite a 5-1 rally from Malaysia, Denesse Daylisan and Avril Bron stepped up to close out the set, giving Alas Pilipinas a 1-0 set advantage.

The second set proved to be a tightly contested battle, with Malaysia building a 23-20 cushion thanks to an Ee Ling cross-court attack. The Akari-backed Philippines responded with a 4-1 run to send the game to a deuce. However, the Malaysians, led by Eunice Tian Ye, managed to edge out Alas Pilipinas in the extension, tying the match at 1-1 with a well-placed off-speed attack and a powerful ace.

In the third set, the Philippines avoided a potential collapse. After surrendering a 17-10 and 21-17 lead, they managed to stay a set away from winning the game. Kimberly Rubin and Penuliar played crucial roles, each scoring two points in a pivotal 4-1 run to break a 21-all tie and secure a 25-22 victory.

Alas Pilipinas Girls will aim to extend their winning streak as they face Thailand tomorrow, Monday, at 5:30 p.m. (Manila time).

Photo from SMM Volleyball