Two of the Philippines’ best men’s volleyball players in Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas have come a long way.
From their rivalry in the UAAP where Espejo played for Ateneo de Manila University while Bagunas suited up for National University which saw them face each other in the Finals.
To their partnership with the country’s national team where they bagged a historic silver medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
And now, it’s time for Espejo and Bagunas to cross paths again.
The 6-foot-5 outside spiker from National U has been playing abroad since 2019, spending three years in Japan V. League while currently suiting up for Winstreak in Top Volleyball League in Taiwan.
But Bagunas is coming home soon after committing to play for Imus-Ivy Tuason Photography in the 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference after his season in Taiwan ends mid-March.
“Sobrang saya at I can’t wait to come back home. Iba pa rin maglaro sa atin,” Bagunas said.
The AJAA Spikers and Cignal of Espejo though have already faced each other last Friday in their lone preliminary round matchup with the HD Spikers cruising to a straight sets win.
However, the two can still meet in the round-robin semifinals if both squads can make the Top Four in the men’s premier league organized by Sports Vision. Semis action starts March 22.
The 6-foot-3 five-time Spikers’ Turf Conference MVP Espejo expressed his excitement on Bagunas’ homecoming.
“Happy lang din ako kasi lahat ng mga players parang equally distributed kami sa club teams,” said Espejo.
In the earlygoings of the Open Conference, Cignal, AMC-Cotabato, and Imus are considered heavyweights while newcomer Iloilo is a darkhorse being still undefeated.
Then comes a four-way logjam in the middle between Navy, VNS, Army, and Vanguard in the wide-open race to the championship.