Filipinos revelled as if there was a rave party when PSL-F2 Logistics Manila finally stole the most awaited third set win in FIVB Women’s Club World Championship on Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
For the first time on the world stage of volleyball, the Philippines decisively closed a set against world class opposition. Who would have thought that underdogs would notch a set against the reigning champions Eczacibasi Vitra Istanbul after falling short against other dynamo club teams such as Rexona SESC Rio and Pomi Casalmaggiore?
Nevertheless, PSL-F2 Logistics Manila team took it as a golden experience, especially the Magnificent 7 when they formed an all-Filipino line up during the second set, grabbed the lead, but were eventually demolished in four sets.
Nothing is impossible indeed. We are just starting things over, no one knows if we can finish by feat or defeat.
The buffs thought that the ultimate part of the show was when PSL-F2 Logistics Manila Serbian Head Coach Moro Branislav fielded the Magnificent 7 against Turkish powerhouse Eczacibasi Vitra in the second set.
The FIVB golden ticket holders were honored to earn Branislav’s trust.
[quote cite=’Jovelyn Gonzaga’]We really enjoyed the moment but at the same time we’re much focused on giving our opponent as well as the fans a valiant match[/quote]
However, the plot twist was unexpectedly unveiled in third set. After being down by 4 points, Jaja Santiago fired off three consecutive power hits. The Turks tried to cut the host’s momentum but they ended up throwing a point to tie the set – 23-all.
The home team took advantage of the struggling champs as Stephanie Niemer closed the set with a muscle after a long rally, 25-23.
Statistician Bocboc Benson expressed gratefulness:
[quote]It was a great feeling that as early as this time we were building confidence in the games because in the past as much as we try to fight, we still can’t get a set.
So, this is a great chance because they were the ones leading, we made a run, we held on it and we closed the set which is very important to us. It is such a gem because we are going to play with Japan or Thailand with a good spirit.[/quote]
PSL-F2 Logistics Manila were adjusting and catching up with the level of competition for the past three matches against the best in the world. Still, doubters have arisen along the way.
Nevertheless, the bionic Ilongga Jovelyn Gonzaga willingly defended her team.
[quote]Genuine volleyball fans will understand. It’s a bonus if we win but let’s face the reality that we’re not there yet compared to these powerhouse teams, but that’s the main reason why we are here. We are getting exposure and the experience.
We were given a talent, we exploited it and we are putting our hearts on it so that we can deliver.[/quote]
Technically, we can’t call them victors just yet. The big question is: how can they use this experience to win their subsequent games and put the country’s name on top in the classification round?
Never mind the cynics, they have already proven how Filipinos give a worthy fight especially now that the world is watching.