Joshua Umandal to play as import in Bahrain volleyball league | Inquirer Sports
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Joshua Umandal to play as import in Bahrain volleyball league

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 03:52 PM January 14, 2022
Joshua Umandal and the Rebisco men's team.

Joshua Umandal and the Rebisco men’s team. Asian Volleyball Confederation / Eddy Phongphakthana

MANILA, Philippines—PH men’s volleyball national team member Joshua Umandal is set to play for Bani Jamra in Bahrain’s Isa bin Rashid Volleyball League.

Umandal, who will play with Bani Jamra until March 12, is the second Filipino to play for the club and in Bahrain after Marck Espejo suited up for the team in 2020 before joining FC Tokyo in the Japan V.League.

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His agent Mark Salamat of Virtual Playground announced the development on Friday.

“I’m really honored to be an import because it’s been a dream of mine to play in another country,” said Umandal, who departed on a 10-hour flight to Bahrain at 11 am this morning, in Filipino.

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The former University of Santo Tomas ace is the third male volleyball player to play overseas after Espejo and Bryan Bagunas, who are playing in the Japan V.League.

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“My kuyas started this road and I’m happy to have followed in their careers. I hope that this will lead to so that men’s volleyball in the Philippines will get more support. If we can play in other countries in Asia, then I believe and pray that there will be a time that the same will happen in the Philippines.”

Umandal was largely a bench player in the Philippines’ silver medal campaign in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games but came into his own in the AVC Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship in Thailand.

The 22-year-old outside hitter led Team Rebisco to a ninth place finish in the continental tournament in the absence Bagunas and Espejo, who were playing in Japan during the competition.

Umandal said that he’s not expecting much as he wasn’t able to train properly due to Metro Manila putting a hold on contact sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he did assure that he will give his best.

“It’s hard to expect much from myself because I couldn’t train continuously because of the pandemic but I’ll do my best when I get to Bahrain so that I can repay the trust that my fellow Filipinos gave me. I’ll always carry the Philippines with me when I play there,” said Umandal.

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TAGS: Bani Jamra, Isa bin Rashid Volleyball League, Joshua Umandal
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