Pinoy spikers show gallant stand in loss to FC Tokyo

ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 13, 2019 08:58 AM
Pinoy spikers show gallant stand in loss to FC Tokyo
The Philippine men's volleyball team forced Japan Premier League club FC Tokyo to four sets in their tune-up match on Tuesday.

Philippine men’s volleyball team head coach Dante Alinsunurin was impressed with the grit his squad displayed in a four-set loss to FC Tokyo on Tuesday night.

The Nationals stole a set before bowing down to the Japan Division 1 club, 22-25, 15-25, 25-21, 18-25, in a tune-up match at the Fukagawa Gym.

"Masaya ako na lumaban kami sa FC Tokyo siyempre kahit papaano Division 1 yan," said Alinsunurin of the squad’s fifth of the scheduled nine tune-up games in their Japan training camp made possible by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. and the Philippine Sports Commission.

Bryan Bagunas, who is currently playing in the Japan top tiered league under Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler, suited up for the Nationals in the practice match for the first time to join other top Pinoy hitters Marck Espejo, team captain Johnvic De Guzman and Ranran Abdilla.

The Nationals gave FC Tokyo tough resistance throughout the match but a bunch of errors including crucial miscues from the service line doomed the Nationals’ chances of extending the match.   

"Nakita namin yung lapses namin pero kahit papaano positive pa rin kasi nakadikit kami, nakakablock kami," said Alinsunurin. "Yun lang (medyo marami) yung unforced errors namin lalo na sa floor defense namin kasi nu’ng bandang huli talagang ginugulangan na lang kami."

Despite the loss, Bagunas and the rest of the squad picked up valuable experience playing a quality team that could help the Nationals in their quest for a podium finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games next month in Manila.

"Yun lang siguro yung kulang namin sa tune-up namin pero solid talaga," Bagunas, whose Japan club will face the same opponents soon. "Lahat ng teams sa V. League competitive kaya sobrang gandang experience tong tune-up namin sa FC Tokyo."

The Pinoy spikers will face the same club on Thursday.

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