Jau Umandal lauds Bryan Bagunas for boosting Philippine volleyball’s credentials
MANILA, Philippines — Newly-crowned Spikers’ Turf Open Conference MVP Jau Umandal credited Bryan Bagunas for bringing Philippine volleyball to greater heights after winning a championship and an MVP plum in Taiwan’s Top Volleyball League.
As he is one of the four players trying out for teams in the Korean V-League next month, Umandal commended Win Streak import Bagunas as the Filipino players are being recognized by other countries.
“This is a huge boost for Philippine men’s volleyball because we are close to returning to play overseas. Especially Bryan. He is taking the country to greater heights in men’s volleyball. Bryan is bringing honor to the country after his season in Taiwan,” said Umandal in Filipino.
Umandal’s Cotabato settled for silver in the Spikers’ Turf after getting swept by Cignal in the Finals series of the 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference.
Umandal, who received his first MVP award on Friday at Rizal Memorial Coliseum, urges for more support for Philippine men’s volleyball, believing that their sport brings more achievement to the country, referring to their silver medal finish in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
“I hope men’s volleyball will get more support. Because the men’s team is bringing honor to the country. Not underestimating or comparing anyone, but Bryan is one of the reasons why other countries recognize Philippine volleyball,” he said in Filipino.
Umandal and Cignal players Marck Espejo, JP Bugaoan, and Manuel Sumanguid will try out for the Asian Quota of the Korean V-League on April 25 in Jeju Island.
The Cotabato star, one of the few mainstays of the men’s national team, will also train with the squad in Japan after the Holy Week for their build-up in the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia.