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Iran in 3-2 Victory Against Philippines

Iran came back to life in the fourth set and led from start to finish.Iran came back to life in the fourth set and led from start to finish.

Iran was on cloud nine on Monday as Mahsa Kadkhoda scored a match-high 30 points to lead her team to a dramatic 3-2 win in exhausting 122 minutes against the   Philippines at the 6th AVC Cup for Women at the Chartchai Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

Kadkhoda contributed 30 points to Iran including 19 kills from 54 attempts and a team-leading 5 blocks and another team-leading 6 aces. Alyssa Valdez led the Philippines with 24 points including 22 attacks, Asianvolleyball.net reported.

Fresh from beating Kazakhstan 3-2 in their opening match on Sunday, Iran started confidently against the Philippines.

Both sides came up with almost the same standard, but Iran, with Maedeh Borhani Esfahani at the helm, took a narrow 19-18 lead. Kadkhoda and Borhani were immense for the team at the net, repelling wave after wave of their attacks to hand Iran a crucial 24-23 lead, needing only one more point to take the set.

However, the Philippines taught them victory never comes easy. The Filipinos attacked, boosted and served well, and won the close set 29-27.

Iran made amends in the second set as it came out in full strength, making the set a one-sided battle. Trailing with 10 points behind at 12-22, the Philippines tightened its defense, allowing the Iranians tough times scoring.

Valdez still played a vital role in leading the Philippines’ challenge, but Iran managed to keep the rivals at arm’s length for the comfortable 25-16 win in the set.

The third set was initially dominated by the Philippines with a 4-point clear at 6-2. As the Iranian game was riddled with unforced errors, the Filipinas, cheered on by their fans inside the venue, played with confidence and jumped to a commanding 18-9 lead.

Iran started to claw back into the game. However, the Philippines showed flashes of brilliance that took the team past the formidable rivals for the set win 25-17.

Iran came back to life in the fourth set and led from start to finish. Iran clinched the completely one-sided set 25-12, forcing the Filipinas to contest the do-or-die tie-breaker.

  Decisive Set

In the decider, Iran started well to surge into a three-point advantage at 8-5, but the Filipinas fought back with all they had and a great spirit. Their determination was handsomely rewarded when they met the rivals 12-12. From that point, both sides gave it all-out, but Iran proved steadier to clinch the deciding set 15-13

“It was a very tough match against the Philippines,” said Iran head coach Javad Mehregan. “We learned that the Filipinas are strong defensively. They will fight until they have the least chance to continue. We tried hard, but at the same time just wanted to make it a relaxed match.

I dare say that to beat the Philippines is very difficult. During the match, I changed many players to use more attacks. I’m very happy with my players for the win as they trained hard. I think my players are strong mentally and can stand playing a tough match like this.”

Iran will play the last of its group stage games on Tuesday against Australia.

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