MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines men’s volleyball team absorbed its first loss in a heartbreaking sweep against Indonesia, 25-23, 32-30, 25-20, in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games men’s volleyball tournament at the PhilSports Arena on Friday, December 6.
With the loss, the Filipino spikers head into a semifinal match against defending champion Thailand as the unbeaten Indonesians cruise to the Final Four against depleted Myanmar.
“Medyo mabigat ang laro namin kanina,” said Philippine head coach Dante Alinsunurin. “Nagkulang kami pero alam namin sa sarili namin kung ano ang dapat naming gawin sa susunod na makaharap namin sila.”
“Yun lang talaga, kailangan lang naming magsumikap pa para makuha ang game na yun.”
(We had quite a tough matchup earlier. We fell short but we know the right things to do the next time we face them. But we really need to work to get that game.)
Bryan Bagunas towed the Filipino side in the loss with 24 points, all off spikes while Marck Espejo added 17 markers.
Indonesia's defense helped the visitors prevail over the hometown heroes as they posted a whopping 10-1 advantage in blocks.
The Philippines had averaged 14 rejections in their last two victories.
After a rousing 11-6 start, the Indonesians rallied late in the 1st set and snatched it up, 25-23, thanks to a 6-1 run for the 20-17 lead.
Putu Randu then riled up the Filipino crowd after making a slit-throat gesture after taking a 5-4 lead and got promptly booed throughout the 2nd set.
Although the Filipinos were pushed to the ropes at set point, 22-24, the star duo of Espejo and Bagunas managed to extend the game at 30-all.
However, the Indonesians ultimately prevailed, 32-30, after Bagunas got blocked on his last hit.
While the Filipinos managed to get a 15-10 advantage in a comeback attempt at the 3rd frame, they eventually lost steam and collapsed to a 15-5 finishing kick by the Indonesians. – Rappler.com