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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines broke through in Asian Games men’s volleyball, scoring its first win in nearly five decades after a 25-23, 25-16, 25-12 demolition of Afghanistan in Hangzhou, China on Wednesday, September 20.
Bryan Bagunas showed the way with 16 points built on 14 attacks as the Filipinos won for the first time since the 1974 edition, which also marked the last time the country competed in men’s volleyball in the quadrennial showpiece.
In 1974, the Philippines finished sixth out of eight teams, with its lone win of the tournament coming against Pakistan.
Steven Rotter also delivered 13 points as the Philippines improved to 1-1 in Pool F after it dropped its opener against Indonesia on Tuesday.
Lloyd Josafat chimed in 8 points and Jau Umandal added 7 points and 13 receptions in the swift victory that saw the Filipinos dispose of the Afghans in just 1 hour and 6 minutes.
Racing to a commanding 16-8 lead in the third set, the Philippines wrapped it up with a 9-4 blast punctuated by a block and an attack from Marck Espejo, who tallied 6 points, 5 receptions, and 3 digs.
Gulam Rasool Haidairi posted 8 points to pace Afghanistan, which fell to fourth and last place in Pool F with a 0-2 card.
Currently at third place in Pool F, the Philippines has to beat Japan in its final preliminary game on Thursday at the Deqing Sports Centre Gymnasium in Hangzhou in order to reach the round of 12.
Only the top two teams from each of the six pools will advance to the knockout stage. – Rappler.com