SEA Games: Philippines fends off Cambodia in men’s volleyball opener
MANILA, Philippines — Banking on a potent offense and sturdy defense, the Philippines hammered out a 29-27, 25-17, 25-17, win over Cambodia at the start of men’s volleyball in the 30th Southeast Asian Games Monday night at Philsports Arena in Pasig.
Marck Espejo fired a game-high 21 points in an efficient offensive outing while Bryan Bagunas added 14 for the Philippines, which is looking to make noise in the sport this time.
It was a rousing start for the Filipinos but Espejo believes the team still has a lot of room for improvement.
“We struggled in the first set because we had a slow start, but we were able to recover in the latter part,” Espejo told reporters in Filipino.
“There will be errors every game but we are hoping to fix that especially during the crucial stages of the game,” the five-time UAAP MVP said after the Philippines committed 19 miscues.
Apart from Espejo and Bagunas, the Nationals also got a huge lift from Joshua Retamar.
Retamar, National University’s incoming sophomore, anchored the Philippines’ net defense with six blocks en route to an 11-point night.
“I just did my part and what coach taught me especially in blocking,” the 19-year-old Retamar, who was a late addition to the team, said in Filipino.
The Philippines hopes to go 2-0 against Vietnam, which won the bronze medal in the 2017 edition of the Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.