Satisfied with gains of Asiad stint, Bagunas bats for continuity
The first Asian Games (Asiad) appearance in almost a half-century is a moment Bryan Bagunas and the rest of the Philippine men’s volleyball team are proud of.
And Bagunas is hoping that the small gains from the Asiad stint won’t be put to waste moving forward.
“I hope we can continue our training and we can participate in different tournaments so that we can gain exposure and gain experience,” Bagunas said in Filipino after losing to Japan, 19-25, 14-25, 23-25, on Thursday at Deqing Sports Centre Gymnasium.
The Philippines didn’t make it to the top two of Pool F after finishing with a 1-2 record as Japan (3-0) and Indonesia (2-1) advanced to the next round.
The Filipino spikers put up a gallant stand against the world No.5 team in the third set before the Japanese broke a deadlock at 23 to seal its straight-sets win, ending their first Asiad since 1974.
But for Bagunas, the men’s volleyball program was able to show its improvement, proving that they belong in the continental competition.
“I was surprised with how we fought in this Asian Games,” said Bagunas after scoring 10 points.
A day before their duel against the Volleyball Nations League bronze medalist, the nationals earned their first win in the Asiad after more than four decades, beating Afghanistan, 25-23, 25-16, 25-12.
Bagunas seeks more opportunities as the men’s volleyball team is rising from being a program in disarray early this year when coach Dante Alinsunurin was removed from his post followed by Bagunas and Marck Espejo skipping the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia due to their commitments as imports.
Before the Asiad, the Philippine National Volleyball Federation bared its plans to keep the core of the team under Brazilian coach Sergio Veloso and continue competing in international tournaments. INQ