The bronze medal was within reach but Indonesia just won’t wilt and the Philippines wound up in fourth place in women’s volleyball at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.
“We did our best but it wasn’t enough to beat Indonesia,” said Jorge Edson Souza de Brito the morning after the Indonesians struggled to beat the Filipinas in four sets, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 25-23, in the bronze medal match on Sunday at the Olympic Stadium.
Souza de Brito is also the head coach of Akari.
Before flag-waving and cheering fans, the Filipinas fought gallantly against their more internationally-experienced foes with Tots Carlos holding fort until the final moment by saving two match points.
But the Indonesians, many of them playing in jihabs, were unrelenting and went on to claim bronze while dealing the Philippines its third loss in five matches from the preliminaries.
“We need to be more consistent but as a matter of fact, we'd improved a lot—less errors, better receive, more block touches,” De Brito said. “These players had such a hard time reaching their best level and it would be good if we keep a core from these players.”
The national women’s team is composed mostly of Creamlime players, including team captain Alyssa Valdez who had to be used sparingly because of a knee injury that almost cost her slot in the team.
Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Ramon “Tats” Suzara acknowledged the need to polish the team further.
“We will not stop, we will continue to work harder,” Suzara said. “And we’ll participate even more in the international arena.”
The Philippines beat Cambodia and Singapore in the preliminaries for its two victories in the games. It lost thrice to regional powerhouse Vietnam, Thailand and finally to Indonesia in the bronze medal match.