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Tiebreaker Times


AVC: Philippines fails to repeat vs Mongolia, drops to battle for 9th

The Philippine men’s national volleyball team could not replicate its pool play success against Mongolia, losing in a heartbreaking fashion, 25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 12-15, in the 2023 AVC Challenge Cup classification phase on Friday at the University of Taipei Hall 2 in Taiwan.

Tomorrow, the Filipino team will face host Chinese Taipei at 12:30 p.m. in the Battle for 9th place.

The team, led by Brazilian coach Sergio Veloso, managed to escape the Mongolians in the preliminary round with a score of 22-25, 25-21, 26-24, 23-25, 15-12.

In the fifth set, with just a one-point lead of 5-4, the Mongolians surged ahead with a 4-1 run, with Gantulga Tsend-Ayush and Battur Batsuuri contributing crucial points to secure a 9-5 lead.

Despite the Filipino team’s efforts to fight back, an error by Tsend-Ayush on a crosscourt kill provided another opportunity for the Nationals to close the gap to 12-14.

However, in the final play of the match, the Filipino team committed an error as Jau Umandal’s serve did not cross the net, resulting in a victory for Mongolia.

With the powerful trio of Marck Espejo, Steven Rotter, and Umandal, the Philippines managed to fend off every comeback attempt by Mongolia in the first set, winning it with a comfortable margin of 25-17.

In the second set, with the Philippines at set point due to a service error by Mongolia’s Osor Choijilsuren, the North Asians retaliated with a backrow kill by Batsuuri, narrowing the gap to 23-24. However, Kim Malabunga sealed the set for the Nationals with a quick kill in the middle, giving them a 2-0 lead.

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The third set was a back-and-forth battle, but the Philippines found itself at a disadvantage late in the game. Rotter’s down-the-line spike saved a set point, but Batmunkh Amar secured the period for the Mongolians with a quick hit, resulting in a score of 25-23.

In the fourth set, Batsuuri dominated the latter part of the game, scoring the last four points for Mongolia and forcing a decider with a score of 25-22.

Veloso opted to use the same starters who played against Mongolia in the pool play, giving Espejo, Umandal, Rotter, Malabunga, Lloyd Josafat, Vince Mangulabnan, and Manuel Sumanguid the nod once again.

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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