Philippines vs Iran match preview

The Philippine women’s volleyball team must put behind the disappointing outcome against Australia and face a formidable challenge against Iran. The game will be televised at 5 PM Philippine time at ESPN5 and AKSYON TV. Livestream is also available here.

Who to look out for in Team Iran?

Much like Australia, Iran’s average height is still greater than the Philippine players. Their technical skill is also better than the Australians. Thus, it’s no wonder that they were able to edge Kazakhstan in five sets. Iran’s main player is team captain Maedeh Borhani Esfahani who scored 29 against the Kazakhs. She got 21 of those from spikes and its impressive that she only had 54 total attempts. Borhani is also a service specialist and a menace on the net for opponents as well.

Aside from her, the Iranian attack is bolstered by Mahsa Kadkhoda who had 18 and Mahsa Saberi who had 16. Iran is also a superb serving team with 13 aces as compared to Kazakhstan’s five. However, they were prone to errors for they had 33 against Kazakhstan’s 22.

What must Team Philippines do to win?

First, they cannot be complacent once they gain any momentum. They must keep attacking if they will have any chance of winning. The game against Australia slipped out of their hand and they cannot afford that to happen again. Likewise, attacks must be varied and executed at a quicker pace. The fact that Alyssa Valdez and Mylene Paat had 124 of the Philippine’ 198 total attacks means that the setters must scatter the ball even more. Yes, the two played valiantly against Australia. But the opponents were able to predict where the ball was going and thus the low spike success rate (31.6% for Valdez, 27% for Paat).

Lastly, the Philippine volleybelles must keep defending the floor well. Denden Lazaro did a terrific job digging the cross court spikes of the Aussies and she must maintain the efficiency against the devastating Iranian spikes.