PHL makes history after securing first-ever podium finish in the AVC Cup

Congratulations, Alas Pilipinas! (PVL/Joaqui Flores)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Filipinos and the whole volleyball community couldn’t be any prouder of you girls, Alas Pilipinas!

For the first time in the history of the Asian Women’s Volleyball Cup, the PHL national women’s volleyball team wrapped up the tournament with a podium finish, bagging the bronze medal after asserting their mastery over Australia, 25-23, 25-15, 25-7, during the battle for third place on May 29, 2024, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Despite missing the chance of a first-ever championship berth when they fell at the hands of the mighty Kazakhstan national team during the semifinals, Alas Pilipinas still entered the battle for bronze with the same hunger and were eager to put on a final fantastic show in front of their Filipino fans.

Alas Pilipinas didn’t disappoint and saved their best for last after pulling off their most dominant performance in the AVC Cup against the taller Australians.

After the close affair in the first set where the Filipinas only won by a two-point margin, Alas suddenly caught fire in the last two frames and handed the Australians a lopsided loss.

Alas were striking from all cylinders when the second set kicked off and gave the Australians no room to breathe.

In the third set, the Filipinas held the Australians to just seven points, one of their lowest-scoring outputs in any international volleyball event.

“I have no words to express how happy I am. Not just for myself, but for these guys. I told them at the beginning they deserve a lot. They really deserve it,” said Jorge Souza de Brito, Alas Pilipinas’ head coach after the win.

Angel Canino once again led the Alas attack and top-scored for the PHL national squad with 14 big points derived from 13 successful attacks.

Aside from Canino, Sisi Rondina also delivered in their final AVC game and dropped 13 markers built from 11 successful attacks.

It was a roller coaster of emotions for Alas Pilipinas after receiving their bronze medals. With only less than a week to prepare for the prestigious tournament, the players already said that they didn’t expect anything. They just wanted to give their best and put up a fight in every game of their bracket.

Alas then exceeded the expectations of the majority when they swept their pool and entered the semifinals with a perfect 4-0 record.

“They fight every single day, since they were really young, to make history here. And now history has been made because of them, because they trusted themselves today. They came through,” added de Brito.

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