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Lady spikers bow to Vietnamese

KUALA LUMPUR – The Philippines will have to go through defending champion Thailand after losing to Vietnam, 26-24, 25-12, 25-23, Friday in women’s volleyball in the 29th Southeast Asian Games.

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A collection of top spikers back home, the Filipinas lost a close first set, got badly outplayed in the second and wasted the lead in the third to drop to their first defeat in two games.

The Filipinas and the Thais clash in the crossover semifinals at 10:30 a.m. at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Center.

The other semifinal pits Indonesia against Vietnam.

After an easy win over Malaysia Thursday, the Filipinas failed to handle the Vietnamese who rode on Tran Thi Thanh Thuy’s 19 points to avenge their defeat in Manila.

Alyssa Valdez and Jaja Santiago combined for 21 points, but the Filipinas were saddled by 28 errors.

Head coach Francis Vicente remained defiant.

“This is just a minor setback. We will keep on fighting,” said Vicente.

Johann Chua defeated Malaysian Muhd Almie to complete the semifinal cast in the men’s 9-ball pool singles where he is expected to face Carlo Biado in the final.

Defending champion Chezka Centeno and Rubilen Amit are also in the Last 4 and face separate opponents on Saturday.

Basil Hassan, the only other Filipino in action in the billiards event, went down to Issara K. of Thailand, 4-1, in the men’s snooker singles.

In lawn bowls, Rodel Labayo, Hommer Mercado and Christopher Dagpin took a 20-13 defeat at the hands of Anan Naksaray, Wattana K. and Thanakrit T. of Thailand in the battle for the bronze medal.

In table tennis, the Philippines split its assignment in the team event.

The Filipinas shut out Myanmar, 3-0, but fell to Malaysia, 3-1.

In sepak takraw, the Philippines lost to Myanmar, 2-1, in men’s doubles.