Marck Espejo returns as PH men's volleyball team heads to Taiwan for AVC Challenge Cup | Inquirer Sports

Marck Espejo returns as PH men’s volleyball team heads to Taiwan for AVC Challenge Cup

/ 02:30 PM July 06, 2023

Philippine men's national volleyball team AVC Challenge Cup

Philippine men’s national volleyball team for the AVC Challenge Cup. –PNVF PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Marck Espejo makes his much-anticipated return for the Philippine men’s volleyball team when they compete in the 2023 Asian Men’s Volleyball Challenge Cup starting on Saturday in Taiwan.

The Philippine men’s volleyball team on Thursday traveled to Taiwan, heading to its first stint in the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) tournament, where it is grouped in Pool D with Mongolia and Macau.

Espejo, who begged off from the last Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia, is returning to action with his fellow mainstays Kim Malabunga and Rex Intal.

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The trio is reuniting with Jau Umandal, who were all part of the 2019 SEA Games squad that made history with a silver medal.

Brazilian coach Sergio Veloso is also fielding the holdovers of his team bannered by setters Vince Mangulabnan and Kim Dayandante, Filipino-American opposite spiker Steve Rotter, Lloyd Josafat, and liberos Manuel Sumanguid and Vince Lorenzo.

La Salle star Noel Kampton is making his national team debut along with Cignal’s Chu Njigha, Filipino-American wing spiker Ryan Ka, and veteran hitter Madz Gampong.

The Philippines will start its campaign against Macau on July 9 before facing Mongolia on the next day.

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Only the top two teams from the six groups will advance to the Final 12 as the squads that won’t qualify will be relegated to the classification round.

The other participating countries are Chinese Taipei and Kazakhstan of Pool A; Pool B’s Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and South Korea; Pool C has Uzbekistan, India, and Hong Kong; Pool E features Australia, Pakistan, and Vietnam; and Pool F is composed of Sri Lanka, Bahrain, and Indonesia.

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TAGS: Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC), Marck Espejo, Philippine men's volleyball team

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