Asian U23 Volleyball Championship: China too much for resilient Philippine squad

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The Philippine team lost to China in the quarterfinals of the Asian U23 Women's Volleyball Championship.

(CNN Philippines) — They gave it their all, but the other team was just too strong.

The national team suffered another heartbreaking loss, bowing down to powerhouse China, 23-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-17, in the Asian U23 Women's Volleyball Championship on Thursday (May 7) at the Philsports Arena.

The Philippines and China started the match hounding each other, trading blows up until late in the first set. The Chinese couldn’t take advantage of an error on the home side as Myla Pablo converted with a powerful hit to draw first blood for the Philippines, 25-23.

Winning the first set proved to be a first in Philippine volleyball history as Filipinos have never won a set against China prior to this match.

China began to find its rhythm in the second frame, racing to a massive lead and eventually taking the set with ease, 25-14.

Read: Alyssa Valdez leading by example

The Chinese again took another lead in the third set, while Philippine team captain Alyssa Valdez hobbled out of the game midway to get treatment on her right knee.

Valdez went back into the game with the Philippines trailing, 21-16, but could not stop the visitors from claiming the set, 25-18, for a 2-1 lead.

Both sides once again went neck-and-neck to start the fourth set before China slowly started to pull away, easily taking the fourth set, 25-16.

Liu Yanhan led China with 21 points.

Valdez was the top scorer for Philippines with 17 points, while Myla Pablo scored a tournament-high with 11.

China moves on to the semifinal round of the tournament to face Korea, while Philippines faces Chinese Taipei - which lost to South Korea earlier - in the classification round for 5th to 8th.