MANILA – The Philippines leaned on the heroics of opposite hitter Tots Carlos and outside hitter Jema Galanza to beat Australia, 21-25, 25-19, 19-25, 25-18, 15-12, and is assured of its best-ever finish in the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup for Women at Philsports Arena in Pasig City on Sunday.
Carlos sizzled with 26 points while Galanza added 18 as the Filipinos kept their momentum in the tie-breaker.
Middle blocker Celine Domingo also performed well, coming up with 11 attacks, three blocks, and a service ace in the two-hour and 19-minute match
"It was a lot of hard work," team captain Jia Morado-De Guzman said in an interview. "Everyone did their roles, we really gave our best."
Opposite hitters Caitlin Tipping, Stefanie Weiler, and Rebecca Redgen finished with double-digit scores for the Australians.
Tipping had 14 spikes, six blocks and five service aces. She scored nine points in the third set which Australia took, 19-25 after surging ahead at 15-3.
Weiler delivered 17 points while Redgen had 10 spikes, one block and one service ace.
The Philippines will face Chinese Taipei in the battle for fifth place on Monday.
Whatever the outcome, it will be the host's highest finish since placing ninth in its debut in 2018 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
Australia and Iran will dispute the seventh and eighth spots, also on Monday.
Coach Sherwin Meneses said the Philippines will give its all, no matter what is at stake.
"Every game, we give our best. It is a big opportunity for our team to play against many countries. Regarding our chance against Chinese Taipei, we will fight," he said.
Semifinalists Thailand, China, Vietnam, and Japan were battling for championship berths as of posting time. (PNA)