National men's volleyball coach Almadro weeps in loss to Myanmar
Mark Escarlote on Jun 11, 2015 07:55 PM
They really want to fight. They really want to give other teams a good fight --- Oliver Almadro
SINGAPORE --- Philippine national men’s volleyball team coach Oliver Almadro clutched his white face towel tight.
He bowed his head and his voice cracked as words barely came out of his mouth.
He was wiping tears.
Emotional after his squad’s 16-25, 14-25, 31-33 loss to Myanmar Thursday night, Almadro felt that he owes the Filipino crowd that watched the game inside the OCBC Arena Hall 2 here an apology.
The Pinoy spikers failed to duplicate their four-set win over Malaysia in the opening day of the 28th Southeast Asian Games event, getting pummeled in the first two frames but gave one hell of a fight in the closing set before losing steam in the end to slide into a precarious situation of missing the a ride to the semifinals where at least a bronze medal is assured.
“Thank you sa mga sumuporta sa amin, sa mga nagdasal sa amin. Hanggang dito muna kami ngayon pero sa susunod babawi kami and we will give them a good fight,” said Almadro as tears fell down his cheeks while being interviewed by ABS-CBN Sports.
Down two sets to none and staring at a big deficit, 15-20, in the third the Filipinos rallied to get closer, 21-23, after a Marck Espejo kill.
Aung Thu slammed a kill to douse cold water to the Filipinos’ run and bring Myanmar at match point, 21-24, but gave PHI a freebie after his overcooked service.
Myo Min Oo committed another attack error before the Filipinos tied it at 24 as the partisan crowd cheered in jubilation.
Thu silenced the crowd with a back row hit for Myanmar’s set point advantage. But an attack error by Myanmar tied the game again. Thu hammers a power kill but Kheeno Franco cancelled it with a quick attack for 26-all.
John Vic De Guzman’s spike gave the PHI the first taste of the lead 27-26 but setter Ish Polvoroza overshot his serve.
De Guzman again pushed the PHI ahead but Thu answered with an attack. Espejo’s attack went wide but got the score back with an off the block smash to tie it at 29.
Oo gave the lead back for Myanmar before Peter Torres’ running attack evened the score at 30. Thu scored on an off the block spike but Espejo erased it with cross for another deadlock at 31.
Espejo committed the biggest blunder of the game as he let loose a wide service as Win Tun Oo finally sealed the match with an off the block hit.
“They really want to fight. They really want to give other teams a good fight,” added Almadro.
But it was a little too late for the Filipinos.
PHI will take on defending champion Thailand, who swept Myanmar in their opener, on Sunday in a match that will decide their fate.
Espejo scored 14 points from 13 kills and a block while De Guzman got nine points for the PHI team, which didn’t have an answer to Thu’s monster 27-point game.
Myanmar and PHI are tied at 1-1 slate with three points each but the former holds a superior 1.029 points ratio compared to the Filipinos’ 0.929.
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