MANILA, Philippines—Despite a winless campaign by the Philippines, Alyssa Solomon found some consolation after bringing home the Best Opposite Spiker award in the Southeast Asian (SEA) VLeague second leg in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Solomon on Sunday earned her first international individual award, joining MVP Chatchu-on Moksri of champion Thailand and the top players of the second leg.
The 6-foot-2 hitter has been one of the most consistent leaders of the Philippine women’s volleyball team only to lose all of their six matches in the two-leg regional tournament as the Filipino Spikers, who won back-to-back bronze medals in the first two editions in 2019, haven’t returned to the podium in the last three stagings.
The Nationals couldn’t carry their momentum from a first-set win as they wound up empty-handed anew with a 25-22, 21-25, 22-25, 24-26 loss to the Indonesians.
The National University star became the fourth Filipino women’s volleyball player to win an award in the SEA VLeague, joining Majoy Baron, who won the Best Middle Blocker award twice in the inaugural staging of the tournament formerly known as the ASEAN Grand Prix four years ago, and Best Liberos Dawn Macandili in the second leg last 2019 and Kyla Atienza last year.
The 21-year-old Solomon continues to add more accolades to her collegiate resume, putting her first international award on top of the UAAP Season 84 Best Opposite Spiker and last year’s Shakey’s Super League MVP and the same position award.
Thailand, which ruled the regional tournament for the fifth straight time, had three individual awardees with Jarasporn Bundasak earning the 1st Best Middle Blocker and Piyanut Pannoy winning her second consecutive Best Libero award.
The Thais remained unbeaten in 15 games in the league capped by another leg sweep, beating the Vietnamese in the final match, 25-15, 25-23, 25-22, at home.
Silver medalist Vietnam, which missed star Trần Thị Thanh Thúy, drew key contributions from Vhi Thi Nu Quynh as the 1st Best Outside Spiker and 2nd Best Middle Blocker Doan Thi Xuan despite losing the gold medal match anew to Thailand.
Indonesia settled for bronze for the third consecutive time in beating the Philippines and had two Individual awardees with Arneta Putri claiming the Best Setter and Ratri Wulandari emerging as the 2nd Best Outside Spiker.
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