Asian Volleyball

So close, but so far: Alas Pilipinas loses AVC medal hope in host Bahrain sweep

JR Isaga

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So close, but so far: Alas Pilipinas loses AVC medal hope in host Bahrain sweep

NOT QUITE THERE. Alas Pilipinas' Marck Espejo (left) and Jau Umandal in action in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup.

Asian Volleyball Confederation

AVC Challenge Cup host and reigning silver medalist Bahrain debuts to a close sweep of gutsy Alas Pilipinas to quickly clinch a quarterfinal berth and kick the Philippines out of the running

MANILA, Philippines – Alas Pilipinas went down swinging in its 2024 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) medal quest, dropping its second straight close game as host nation Bahrain debuted with a 25-18, 25-23, 25-20 win at Isa Town on Monday, June 3 (Tuesday, June 4, Manila time).

Although only ranked No. 65 in the world behind No. 61 Philippines, Bahrain is enjoying a men’s volleyball program breakthrough streak as the reigning AVC Challenge Cup silver medalist and will go for gold on home soil.

The likes of Jau Umandal (9 points), Marck Espejo (8 points) and Kim Malabunga (8 points) were ultimately unable to capitalize on Alas’ second-set momentum as Bahrain capitalized in the third and final frame to immediately clinch a knockout quarterfinal berth in just its first game.

The Philippines, meanwhile, now heads to the classification phase of the tournament on Wednesday, June 5 (may start on Thursday, June 6, 12 am, Manila time) against either Qatar or Indonesia of Pool C.

Current Pool A leader and world No. 31 China is also moving on to the cross-pool quarterfinal due to Bahrain’s win and after its own 25-19, 25-22, 25-22 squeaker over the Philippines.

China next battles the host nation for the top seed on Tuesday evening (Wednesday, June 5, Manila time). –

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