By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Team Choco Mucho fought mightily but its effort fell short again a taller and aggressive VC Zhetysu squad of Kazakhstan, 25-22, 25-19, 25-15, Saturday in the 2021 Asian Club Women’s Volleyball Championship in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
It was the second straight defeat for the Filipina spikers, who opened their campaign with a 25-11, 28-26, 25-17 defeat to hometown squad Nakhon Ratchasima QminC Friday.
The Kazakhs banked on their strong offensive game to control the third set, cruising to an 8-5 lead and scoring four straight points to pull away for good, 12-5.
Setter Natalya Akilova paced the Kazakhs by distributing the ball evenly and allowing their spikers to attack the net from all angles.
Choco Mucho opened up the match with fiery resolve, keeping the match close with Ria Meneses, Mylene Paat and Kalei Mau taking charge.
The Filipinas even saved three set points in the first set after trailing 24-19, but a down-the-line spike from Mashkova set the tone for the Kazakhs.
The Filipinas showed the same energy in the second, but the Kazakhs were more resilient on the attack line by firing 18 kills.
It was in the third frame when Choco Mucho lost steam, allowing Zhetysu to dominate all facets of the game.