Men's National Team comes back from two sets down to salvage Bronze Medal finish in 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Championships

ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 09, 2019 02:40 PM
NT captures bronze in 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna C'ship
(Photo courtesy of www.facebook.com/ThailandVolleyball)
Despite losing the first two sets, Rebisco-Philippines managed to claw their way back and wield the upset axe on Thai-Denmark Saraburi in a five-set conquest, 22-25, 27-29, 25-18, 25-18, 26-24, to win bronze in the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Championships at the Wee Sommay Gymnasium in Sisakaet, Tuesday.

After trailing by five heading into the second technical timeout of the second set, the Nationals – led by Marck Espejo and Kim Malabunga displayed their net defense and uncorked a 4-0 rally to cut the deficit to a solitary point, 15-16.

Tied at 23-all, Ranran Abdilla unshackled the scores to put the Filipinos ahead by a point. Malabunga was able to tie the score at 27-all with a quick. However, a well-executed attack from Saraburi and an error from Jessie Lopez placed Rebisco to a 0-2 disadvantage.

The Nationals then rallied behind Bryan Bagunas and led by as much as seven points to take the third set. In the following frame, Espejo ran roughshod on Saraburi, firing three points on Rebisco’s 4-1 run to extend the game to a deciding fifth set.

With their hopes hanging in balance, Espejo and Bagunas scored on consecutive hits to tie the game at 12-all. Espejo committed a service error which put the Thais ahead by one, 12-13.

Kim Malabunga was able to tie the game at 13-all. It was a nip-and-tuck affair from there, but the Nationals’ strong desire to win paid off as they were able to eke out a narrow 26-24 victory to settle for a bronze medal finish.

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