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BINAN CITY – Ba’yi Shenzheng of China denied Foton Pilipinas’ bid to advance further as it dealt the host squad with a 25-16, 25-18, 25-14 beating in the knockout quarterfinals Friday in the 2016 AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship Friday at the Alonte Sports Arena here.
The Tornadoes came up with a gallant stand in the first two sets before bowing to the taller, stronger Chinese to kiss their semifinal hopes goodbye in this prestigious continental tourney organized by the Philippine Superliga, Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. and the city government of Binan headed by Congresswoman Len Alonte.
Also advancing to the semifinals of this topnotch continental battle bankrolled by SMM Sport, Nike, Senoh, Asics, Mikasa, Foton, BMW, Rexona, PLDT and Price Waterhouse Cooper with Crimson Hotel as official residences and TV5 and SMMTV of Thailand as official broadcast partners was NEC Red Rockets of Japan, which destroyed T. Grand of Chinese Taipei, 25-6, 25-23, 25-13, in the first match.
The Japanese will be facing the winner between Bangkok Glass of Thailand and Thongtin Lienvietpost Bank of Vietnam while the Chinese will clash with the survivor between Altay VC of Kazakhstan and Sarmayeh Bank of Iran in the next round on Saturday.
The Tornadoes were relegated to the classification battle for 5th to 8th places and will tangle with the loser between the Kazakhs and the Iranians also on Saturday.
Foton Pilipinas import Lindsay Stalzer said the setback to China might have completely pushed them out of their target of advancing to the semifinals, but praised her teammates as they fought their hearts out and refused to back down from the tough Chinese, the newly-crowned Olympic champions.
“We’re proud of how we fought,” said Stalzer, who missed a couple of games due to back spasms.