by Waylon Galvez

The national handball team fell to defending champion Qatar, 2-0, at the start of the 2019 Asian Beach Handball Championship Saturday in Weihai, China.

Qatar took the first period, 20-10, and wrapped it up in the second, 22-10, in the event which also serves as qualifier for next year’s World Beach Handball Championship in Qatar.

Handlball1 640x425 - PH drops handball opener to Qatar

Mac Valdez of the Philippines tries to block the shot of one of Qatar’s players during their elimination round game in the 2019 Asian Beach Handball Championship in Weihai, China. (Photos courtesy of Asian Handball Federation)

“We’re able to execute both on offense and defense, but the problem was we had attempts that we missed. They were good shots but we just can’t make them to keep up with them (Qatar),” said PH coach Jana Franquelli.

The national team will try to bounce back as it shoots for a win against an equally solid team in Afghanistan.
The top two teams from each group will advance in the crossover semifinals.

The game between the Philippines and Afghanistan is Sunday afternoon.

“We’re all positive against Afghanistan game. We saw them play so we’re able to device a game plan and will have adjustments. The players had a light workout so we hope to get the win,” said Franquelli.

The top two teams from each group will advance in the crossover semifinals.

The national team is in Group A with Vietnam, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei, Afghanistan and Qatar, while in Group B are Japan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Thailand and Pakistan.

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