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Nat'l team showing signs of improvement in Japan

MANILA, Philippines – The intensive training of the women's national volleyball team is starting to bear fruit, as evidenced by an impressive performance in a friendly against the Okayama City Seagulls on Saturday at the Zip Arena in Okayama City, Japan.

Powered by Jaja Santiago, the Nationals gamely challenged the Japanese club before bowing in four sets, 22-25, 14-25, 25-22, 20-25.

The Philippine women's volleyball team. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports
Santiago led the Filipinas' charge with 20 kills and three aces for 23 points, while Alyssa Valdez chipped in 15 attacks, an ace, and a block for a total of 17 markers.

Despite the loss, the Philippine team still displayed improvement in their blocking and floor defense after five days of training under the watchful eye of Seagulls coach Akiyoshi Kawamoto.

Setter Kim Fajardo was also impressive, tallying 40 excellent sets on top of an ace and a kill. Mika Reyes stepped up in the absence of injured middle blocker Aby Maraño and finished with four points.

Head coach Francis Vicente was pleased with the team's performance, but still sought to tone down expectations and stressed that they remain a work in progress.

Source: http://news.abs-cbn.com/sports/07/23/17/natl-team-showing-signs-of-improvement-in-japan

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