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Not so happy Thursday:Thu, Myanmar dominates PHI in heated battle

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Sparks flew as the Myanmar Men’s Volleyball Team dominated the Pinoys in straight sets 25-16, 25-14, 33-31 in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games hosted by Singapore.

The Nationals seemed perplexed for much of the match. Unable to get any offense cooking, the Philippines let Myanmar waltz all over them through the destructive beauty of Aung Thu’s attacks. Myanmar’s high-flying open hitter, Thu rattled off a game-high 27 points off 24 attacks, two aces, and a block. Unable to find a response, the Philippines found themselves on the wrong end of an 2-0 sets gap.

Through the invigorated play of Benilde’s John Vic De Guzman and Ateneo’s Marck Jesus Espejo, the Pinoys were able to keep the third set close throughout. Espejo even found himself in a heated exchange of stares and words with Htway midway through the set resulting in the Myanmar national incurring a yellow card. With things looking dim as Myanmar held match point at 21-24, the Pinoys made a valiant rally, forcing a deuce as Myanmar coughed up untimely errors. The Philippines struggled to gain advantage but was able to craft out a momentary window of opportunity as an Espejo attack gave them their only set point chance at 30-29. Unfortunately, Marck Jesus was unable to deliver his team to another set and his late errors proved costly with Myanmar pulling out the close win.

Two-time UAAP MVP, Espejo led his countrymen with 14 points, but he was the only Pinoy who finished in double digits. De Guzman trailed Espejo, notching nine markers while Peter Torres contributed six points.

Overall, the Myanmar offense was deadly efficient, scoring 43 points on 80 attack attempts with a cool 43% attacking clip. The Pinoys scored 37 times off 97 total attack attempts on a lowly 18% efficiency clip.

The Pinoys will have to win their match against Thailand on June 14 to have a chance at advancing to the next stage of the competition.

The Scores:

MYA (3) – Thu A. 27, Ko D.M. 7, Oo M. 6, Oo W. 6, Zin 5, Htway 4, Tun (L)

PHI (0) – Espejo 14, De Guzman 9, Torres 6, Intal 4, Marasigan 3, Franco 3, Polvorosa 1, Sto. Tomas 0, Camposano 0, Montero (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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