After missing the 2017 edition of the tournament. Marck Espejo will make his return as he spearheads the Philippine Men’s National Volleyball team’s campaign in the 30th Southeast Asian Games this November.
Espejo failed to suit up in Malaysia due to his commitment to Ateneo. This time, though, the four-time Spikers’ Turf MVP will be at the forefront of the attack, forming an explosive 1-2 punch with Bryan Bagunas.
The duo already showed a glimpse of what they can do last July. Espejo dropped 35 points, while Bagunas unloaded 22 markers in Rebisco-Philippines’ bronze-clinching victory in the 2019 Sealect Tuna Championships.
Bagunas is still in Japan with the Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler. He will fly back to the country on November 25 barring any complications.
Completing the Philippines’ wide offensive arsenal are team captain John Vic De Guzman (PLDT), two-time Spikers’ Turf MVP Ran Abdilla (Air Force), Mark Alfafara (PLDT), and Joshua Umandal (PLDT).
Meanwhile, five-time UAAP Best Setter Ish Polvorosa (Cignal) — along with Jessie Lopez (Air Force) and Joshua Retamar (Sta. Elena-NU) — have the task of orchestrating the plays for the Nationals.
Completing the 14-man line-up are middle blockers Kim Malabunga (Air Force), Francis Saura (Air Force), and Rex Intal (Cignal) together with defensive specialists Ricky Marcos (Sta. Elena-NU) and Jack Kalingking (Philippine Navy).
Missing the cut were Kim Dayandante (PLDT) and Peter Torres (Cignal). Torres was diagnosed with spontaneous pneumothorax last August 15.
Decorated head coach Dante Alinsunurin will call the shots.
The volleyball tournament of the regional meet will open on November 28.