Alas Pilipinas secures historic semifinal berth in dominant victory over Iran

The Philippine women’s national volleyball team, Alas Pilipinas, continues its spectacular run in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup!

Building upon their impressive wins over Australia and India, they delivered their most dominant performance yet against Iran, securing a historic first-ever semifinals berth in the tournament.

Despite shuffling their starting lineup, the Philippine squad displayed remarkable cohesion and power. The coaching staff opted to rest key players Eya Laure, Thea Gagate, and Dawn Catindig, giving opportunities to Vanie Gandler, Cherry Nunag, and Jen Nierva. This strategic move proved successful, as the Philippines dominated Iran in straight sets (25-16, 25-13, 25-15) in a packed Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila.

This victory marks a significant milestone for Philippine volleyball. It guarantees the team their best finish ever in the Challenge Cup’s history, surpassing their previous seventh-place finish in 2023. Furthermore, it represents their first ever semifinals appearance in any continental tournament, exceeding their fourth-place finishes at the 1962 and 1966 Asian Games (which were round-robin formats).

Angel Canino continued her impressive streak, leading the team in scoring for the third consecutive match with 16 points (11 attacks, 3 aces, and 2 blocks). Sisi Rondina, who received the Best Player of the Game award, chipped in with a valuable 12 points.

Alas Pilipinas aims to complete a perfect sweep of Pool A when they face the youngest team in the competition, Chinese Taipei, tomorrow at 7:00 PM. Meanwhile, Iran, facing a 1-2 record, will battle Australia at 4:00 PM, hoping to bounce back and secure their own spot in the semifinals.