Another Filipino is heading to Tokyo, Japan.
Hours after news broke that Juan Gómez de Liaño signed with B.League Division 2 team Earth Friends Tokyo Z, the Cignal HD Spikers announced that Marck Espejo will play for FC Tokyo in the 2021-2022 Japan V.League season.
“Wishing you all the best in Tokyo, Marck! Team Awesome is with you all the way,” the team said in a Facebook post.
This will be Espejo’s fourth international stint. He was coming off a stint in the Bahrain League, where he helped Bani Jamra finish sixth in the eight-team field.
Espejo led the squad to a 4-9 record in the 2020 season.
The former five-time UAAP Most Valuable Player kick-started his international career with Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler back in 2018.
Interestingly, Bryan Bagunas — Espejo’s college rival and national team teammate — is currently under the same squad. This means that the two will have the chance to write another chapter in their storied rivalry come the V.League season.
The former Ateneo Blue Eagle also suited up for Visakha Volleyball Club in the 2020 Thailand league. He later saw the season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Espejo is part of the 20-man pool for the men’s national indoor volleyball team which will compete in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The 24-year-old Espejo last played a crucial part in the Philippines’ silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games back in 2019. He joins former teammates Mark Alfafara, John Vic De Guzman, Rex Intal, Kim Malabunga, Francis Saura, Jack Kalingking, Jessie Lopez, Ricky Marcos, Ish Polvorosa, Joshua Retamar, Joshua Umandal, and Bagunas.
Also joining Espejo are newcomers Manuel Sumanguid, Kim Dayandante, Ysay Marasigan, Nico Almendras, Joeven Dela Vega, JP Bugauan, and Lloyd Josafat.
Last season, FC Tokyo finished at eighth place with an 8-27 record — 4.5 games ahead of Oita.