SEA Games: Pinoy spikers fall to Indonesians

Mark Escarlote on Dec 06, 2019 08:30 PM
 SEA Games: Pinoy spikers fall to Indonesians
The Philippines absorbed a straight sets setback at the hands of Indonesia in the 30th Southeast Asian Games men's volleyball competition. (Arvin Lim)

Costly errors and sorry collapses down the stretch doomed the Philippines as the Filipinos bowed down to powerhouse Indonesia, 23-25, 30-32, 20-25, Friday to close the 30th Southeast Asian Games Pool B elimination round of the 30th Southeast Asian Games men’s volleyball competition at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

The Indonesians topped the group to set up a knockout semifinals match with Myanmar while sending the Philippines to an early collision course with five-peat-seeking Thailand.  The Final Four will begin on Sunday.  

Down by two sets, the Nationals had a chance to extend the duel as they took a 15-10 cushion in the third only to allow Indonesia, the 2017 silver medalist, to mount a 15-5 counterattack to finish the group stage unscathed without surrendering a set.

"Medyo mabigat ang laro namin kanina. Nagkulang kami pero alam namin sa sarili namin kung ano ang dapat naming gawin sa susunod na makaharap namin sila," said PHI head coach Dante Alinsunurin. 

Rivan Nurmulki punished the suddenly missing net defense of the Filipinos as he pounded in 19 kills while frustrating the local bets' attacking with five kill blocks. Doni Haryono finished with 18 markers while Sigit Ardian posted 13 points for the Nationals.

Putu Randu Wahyu Pradana, who was showered by jeers and boos by the 6,000-strong crowd for his on-court antics including a throat slitting gesture early in the secod set, chipped in eight points for the Indonesians.  

The Filipinos fought back from a 22-24 deficit in the second set after Indonesia called on wrong challenge that saved the Philippines a set point before Mark Espejo and setter Joshua Retamar scored on a hit and an ace, respectively, to give the host team a 25-24 advantage.

Nurmulki forced a deuce on the next play as the two squads exchanged hits. A service error by Indonesia knotted the frame at 30 before Doni Haryono hammered a hit followed by a kill block that put the visiting squad on the hilt.    

The Nationals squandered a 15-11 lead in the first quarter as Indonesians countered with a 10-2 run for a 21-19 advantage after an Espejo service error.

Bryan Bagunas put the PHI closer, 23-22, off a hit before Haryono pushed the Indonesians at set point. The former NU star saved a set point but Nurmulki sealed the frame for Indonesia.

Bagunas led the Filipinos with 24 points - all from attacks - while Espejo got 17 points and 10 excellent receptions. The duo accounted for 41 of the Nationals' 51 attack points but glaringly missing in the Philippines' game were their blockings and aces.           

The Filipinos only had one kill block and one ace courtesy of setter Joshua Retamar after the squad averaged 14 kill blocks and seven service winners in their win over Cambodia and Vietnam.



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