The Philippines, starring players from reigning UAAP men’s champion National University, unseated Thailand in the throne with a 27-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-20 victory to capture the 19th ASEAN University Games men’s volleyball gold medal, Friday in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.
The Filipinos were very determined to become the best in the biennial competition for the region’s student-athletes.
Francis Saura’s quick hit gave the Philippines the upper hand in the extended first frame, before Bryan Bagunas took over in the second set.
Putting up a tough defense on the hard-spiking Bagunas, the Thais were able to snatch the third set. But the Filipinos regrouped in the fourth with Bagunas’ solid attacking, Saura’s net defense, and libero Ricky Marcos’ floor defense.
An outside spike by Thailand was the championship point for the Philippines, which finished its stint with a perfect 4-0 record.
The Filipinos – who surpassed their bronze medal finish in the 2016 edition in Singapore – also won over the Thais , 30-28, 25-23, 25-19 win over the Thais, in last Sunday’s opener.
During the awards ceremony, the Philippine players were very proud to wear the AUG gold medal, as all the hard work of coach Dante Alinsunurin’s troops paid off.
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