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Philippines sent to must-win by Vietnam

The Philippine women's national volleyball team encountered a reality check after their triumphant performance against host country Cambodia, as they suffered a defeat against a formidable Vietnamese team at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games. 


The highly anticipated match, held at the Indoor Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Tuesday night, showcased Vietnam's dominance as they claimed victory with a resounding scoreline of 20-25, 17-25, 19-25.


With this loss, the Philippines found themselves with an even 1-1 standing in Group B, while Vietnam secured their place in the next round. 


The Filipinas now face a crucial challenge: they must defeat Singapore in their upcoming match to secure a spot in the crossover semifinals. 


The Singaporean team, currently boasting a 1-0 record, is set to compete against Cambodia (0-1) in their own encounter.


This match against Cambodia marked the first time the Philippines faced their opponents since the 2022 AVC Cup for Women, where they experienced a valiant defeat with a scoreline of 19-25, 17-25, 29-31 in Pasig. 


The rematch presented an opportunity for redemption, with the Philippine team composed of prominent stars from the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).


The Filipinas began the match with determination, displaying their prowess on the court. However, as the game progressed, their initial strong start faded under the relentless pressure from Vietnam. 


During the first set, the Filipinas trailed behind for the majority of the game and succumbed to a series of attack errors, resulting in a critical turning point when Vietnam seized a 23-20 advantage after a deadlock at 20-all. 


With a powerful backrow attack from Tr?n Th? Thanh Thúy and a successful block by Thi Xuan Doan against Kat Tolentino, Vietnam clinched the set.


In the second set, Vietnam demonstrated their dominance, establishing a significant lead of seven points at 22-15.


A well-executed T4 down-the-line hit pushed the Philippines to a 0-2 set disadvantage, bringing them dangerously close to defeat.


Despite trailing significantly in the third set, the Filipinas displayed remarkable resilience. Through the efforts of Mylene Paat and Tots Carlos, they managed to reduce their 11-17 disadvantage to a mere two points at 18-20. 


However, their valiant comeback fell short, as Vietnam's strong performance secured their place in the semifinals.


As the Philippine women's national volleyball team regroups, they face an imminent challenge against Singapore. 

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