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Espejo, Umandal banner Alas Men for AVC Challenge Cup

Marck Espejo and Jau Umandal will lead Alas Pilipinas Men when they head to Isa Town, Bahrain, from June 2 to 9 for the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Men.

Criss Cross’ ace Espejo and Cignal’s Umandal, both former Spikers’ Turf Most Valuable Players and internationalists, will be joined by four veterans: Cignal’s Vince Lorenzo, Lloyd Josafat, and JP Bugaoan, and Criss Cross’ Kim Malabunga.

They will also be joined by recently graduated National University stars Joshua Retamar and Nico Almendras. Retamar was recently signed by Cignal, while Almendras is still a free agent.

The rest of the squad includes some of the brightest young talents in the UAAP.

Two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Josh Ybanez of the University of Santo Tomas will make his national team debut.

NU stalwarts Jade Disquitado, Rwenzmel Taguibolos, Joseph Bello, and Leo Ordiales are also part of the team. Completing the squad is De La Salle University’s lead spiker Noel Kampton.

Alas will be slotted in Pool A along with Bahrain and China.

Coaching the team is Ateneo head coach Sergio Veloso. Assisting him are NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin, UST head coach Odjie Mamon, and Cignal head coach Dexter Clamor.

The winner of the tournament will advance to the 2024 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Challenger Cup in Linyi, China.

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