Alas Pilipinas secure Pool A top spot, sets up semifinal clash with Kazakhstan

The Philippine women’s national volleyball team, Alas Pilipinas, reigned supreme in Pool A of the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women!

In a dominant performance witnessed by a roaring crowd at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila, they secured the top spot with a convincing 25-13, 25-21, 25-18 victory over Chinese Taipei on Sunday evening.

Alas Pilipinas displayed unwavering dominance throughout the match. After securing a comfortable lead in the first set (25-13), they faced a slight challenge in the second set (25-21) before closing out the match with another decisive win (25-18). This victory capped off a magnificent four-game sweep of Pool A, showcasing their remarkable form and resilience.

This triumph marks a historic achievement for Philippine volleyball. The team has not only surpassed their previous seventh-place finish in the 2023 Challenge Cup but has also secured their first-ever semifinals berth in any major continental volleyball tournament. With this success, Filipino volleyball fans are filled with anticipation, hopeful of a potential podium finish – something the Philippines hasn’t achieved on the global stage since the 1995 Southeast Asian Games bronze medal.

The coaching staff implemented a strategic rotation, opting to rest key contributors Angel Canino, Fifi Sharma, and Sisi Rondina. This move allowed fresh legs to take the court, with Faith Nisperos making her first tournament start and Eya Laure returning to the lineup. The strategy was a resounding success, as Laure emerged as the match’s top scorer with 15 points, while Vanie Gandler delivered a career-best performance, contributing 12 points.

With their Pool A dominance complete, Alas Pilipinas now sets their sights on the knockout stages. Their next challenge will be a highly anticipated semifinal battle against Kazakhstan on Tuesday. Australia, who finished second in Pool A, will face Vietnam in the other semifinal matchup.