Pinoy spikers fall to mighty Thailand

Mark Escarlote on Jun 14, 2015 01:13 PM
Pinoy spikers fall to mighty Thailand
Just like their women’s counterpart, the men’s squad failed to advance into the semifinals as they fell victim to the might of the Thais, 21-25, 16-25, 13-25, Sunday morning at the end of the group stage of the event in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.

SINGAPORE --- They gave it their all but the power, height and experience of the defending champion Thailand were just too much for the young Philippine men’s national volleyball team.

Just like their women’s counterpart, the men’s squad failed to advance into the semifinals as they fell victim to the might of the Thais, 21-25, 16-25, 13-25, Sunday morning at the end of the group stage of the event in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.

Marck Espejo scored 17 points from 14 kills and three blocks while Peter Torres and John Vic De Guzman tallied six markers each in a losing effort for the PHI, which is in its first SEA Games stint since 2005.

Though missing the cut for a Final Four slot where at least a bronze medal is assured, PHI team head coach Oliver Almadro cherished the valuable experience the team gained in facing a world class team like Thailand.   

“Nakita nyo naman sobrang lakas ng Thailand pero sabi ko nga “Laban na ‘to. Buwis buhay na tayo dito kasi minsan lang ‘to,” said Almadro, whose wards closed their campaign with a 1-2 slate.         

With the crowd and the PHI women’s team cheering them on inside the packed OCBC Arena Hall 2 here, the Filipinos gave the Thais a fight in the opening set crawling back from an 8-15 deficit to inch close 20-23.

Jirayu Raksakaew’s spike put Thailand at set point. Espejo saved a point but Kittinon Namkhunthod closed the frame with an off the block kill.   

The second and third sets were an all Thailand game as they cruised to their third straight win in as many games and will face the winner between Indonesia and Cambodia in the semis.

Raksakaew finished with 13 points while Kissada Nilsawai and Kittikun Sri-Utthawong posted 11 markers each for Thailand.

Myanmar, who swept the Philippines in their match, will take on 2013 Myanmar edition runner up Vietnam in the crossover semifinals on Monday.

The Philippine volleyball delegation will return to Manila on Wednesday.

 

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