Loss vs Uzbeks revelation for PH men’s volleyball team
MANILA, Philippines—Dante Alinsunurin’s men may have slid to 0-2 in the 2021 AVC Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship but Team Rebisco’s head coach believed that they didn’t go down without a fight.
Team Rebisco, which is essentially the Philippine’s national men’s team, lost to Uzbek club AGMK in four sets, 24-26, 25-23, 25-18, 25-19, in a match that Alinsunurin saw as more of a revelation than a loss.
“Although we lost today, the takeaway is that I have seen how everyone is able to deliver when called upon,” said Alinsunurin Saturday following their match at Terminal 21 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
He added that the match led to more intra-team competition within his players.
“The friendly competition within the team will be much more intense now that I know whoever is needed will actually perform.”
Young star Joshua Umandal, who was relegated to a support role in the silver medal campaign during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, has shown his true potential for the Philippines as the team’s main scoring option in the absence of open spikers Bryan Umandal and Marck Espejo.
The University of Santo Tomas product led Team Rebisco in scoring in two games so far, averaging 13 points per match—seven points in the Philippines’ opener against Sirjan Foulad and 19 against AGMK.
Nico Almendras also proved as a reliable secondary scoring 14 points against the Uzbeks while veteran Mark Alfafara had seven.