MANILA, Philippines — The national team continued to buck the odds and closed out its guest stint in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference with another victory, beating Smart-Army, 25-16, 25-17, 25-17, at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.
Despite competing with a depleted roster, the Nationals still clobbered the veteran-laden Giga Hitters to sweep their three-game assignment in the tournament serving as part of their buildup for the Asian Games next month.
Less than half of the 20 players in the pool showed up for the Nationals, who still pulled off victories over the Cocolife and Cignal sides.
“We’re happy with the performance of the team. We’re not prepared but we are so proud because all the players did their best. Hopefully, this is the start of the good relationship of the team.”
Jaja Santiago led the way with 15 points off 12 kills and finished with seven excellent receptions while Mylene Paat, MJ Phillips and Maika Ortiz chipped in seven points apiece for the Nationals, who also drew impressive numbers from Dindin Santiago-Manabat and CJ Rosario.
Libero Denden Lazaro produced 12 digs and seven excellent receptions while Rebecca Rivera also came up with 23 excellent sets on top of nine digs and four points to earn the player of the game honors.
Delos Santos added that although they are still far from their best form for the Asiad, they still gained a lot of experience from their PSL stint.
“We learned to accept whatever we have in each game and no matter what happens. The players learned to adjust even we’re not complete,” he said.