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Spikers gun for bronze



MAJOY Baron, Jovelyn Gonzaga and the national women’s volleyball team shoot for the bronze medal in the 30th SEA Games.   DAVID JOHN CUBANGBANG  

It’s bronze medal or nothing for the national women’s volleyball team when it battles Indonesia in the final playing day of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games today at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Action starts at 6 p.m. with the Nationals looking to finally win their first SEA Games medal after 14 years of heartaches in the prestigious biennial meet.

But the national spikers will be marching with bleeding hearts.

They opened the tournament with a five-set loss to Vietnam followed by a three-set meltdown to reigning champion Thailand.

Then, they lost to Indonesia in four sets in a match that pretty much served as preview of their bronze-medal match late Saturday.

In their 25-22, 26-28, 22-25, 14-25 loss to the Indonesians, who are playing without superstar Aprilia Manganang, the Nationals were a picture of frustration in the first two sets, prompting head coach Shaq de los Santos to sit out Alyssa Valdez.

With Valdez out and the entire team struggling, the Philippines lost its momentum heading into the bronze medal match.

“We know that it’s going to be hard because the momentum is not in our favor,” said De los Santos, who coached Petron to numerous titles in the Philippine Superliga.

“But we will give our 110 percent in the game and try to get the bronze.”