SEA Games: PH men’s volleyball first win, fight for 5th

The Philippine men's volleyball team after its first win in the 31st SEA Games.  PNVF photo

The Philippine men’s volleyball team after its first win in the 31st SEA Games. PNVF photo

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine men’s volleyball lost to Malaysia 25-12, 25-13, 25-12 and finally entered the victory column and Vietnam advanced to fifth place in the 31st Southeast Asian Games at the Dai Yen Arena on Wednesday.

Licking the brunt of their early round departure, Brian Bagunas and Mark Espejo led the Filipino Spikers to a balanced attack to stop their two-game skid.

The men’s national team, which failed to retain its silver medal in the 2019 Games, will take on Myanmar in fifth place on Friday.

National team coach Dante Alinsunurin had the luxury of fielding other players, including captain John Vic de Guzman, Nico Almendras and Rex Intal.

Zhou Umandal was also important as the team returned from a heartbreaking loss to Cambodia and Thailand.

The Filipino Spikers dominated the Malaysians before starting 19-9 in the first set.

The Philippines mounted a 14-4 spread in the second set and extended the lead to 12 points, 23-11, before the Bugnus attack and gave Intal’s block team a two-set lead.

Almendras and Umandal closed out the third set for the first victory of the Philippine men’s volleyball team.

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