WELL DONE: Chinese Taipei beats host Philippines, 3-0, to finish fifth in the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup for Women at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City on Monday (Aug. 29, 2022). Despite the loss, the Philippines surpassed its ninth finish in 2018. (Photo courtesy of AVC)

MANILA – Host Philippines put up a good fight despite losing to Chinese Taipei in three straight sets, 26-28, 21-25, 21-25, on Monday in the battle for fifth place in the 2022 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup for Women at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

Middle blocker Celine Domingo scored 12 attacks and one block, Michelle Gumabao had seven attacks and two blocks while Jessica Margarett Galanza and Jeanette Panaga chipped in eight points each as the country finished sixth, its best performance in the tournament. In 2018, the Philippines was ninth.

Down 15-17 in the third set, the Philippines rallied to tie the count twice, the last at 20-all on Galanza's spike.

Chinese Taipei mounted a 5-1 run behind captain Chang Li-Wen and outside hitter Chen Tzu-Ya to clinch the victory before a crowd of 3,500.

Team captain Chang Li-Wen had 14 spikes, three blocks and one service ace. She scored nine points in the third set.

Opposite hitter Chen Tzu-Ya contributed 11 points and middle blocker Huang Hsin-Yu had scored five spikes, one block and one service ace.

"The wins and lessons we had in this AVC Cup are priceless. It will be a big help for us if given a chance again to play in international tournaments," said Philippine team captain Julia Melissa Morado-De Guzman in a post-match interview.

Head coach Sherwin Meneses said the team will take a two-day break before going back to practice in preparation for their stint at the Asean Grand Prix in Thailand.

“From ninth place in 2018 to sixth in 2022, it’s a great improvement,” Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Ramon “Tats” Suzara said.

Earlier, Iran outplayed Australia, 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-22), to settle for seventh place.

Opposite hitter Aytak Salamatgharamaleki scored 14 spikes and one service ace while Mahsa Saberi had 11 attacks and four service aces. Reyhane Karimi had eight points, including four blocks.

Opposite hitter Stefanie Weiler and middle blocker Kara Inskip led the Australians with 10 points apiece. Weiler, who had three blocks and one service ace, scored eight points in the third set. (PNA)