The Philippine Men’s National Volleyball Team could not find the kill in its opening match against Cambodia in the 31st Southeast Asian Games Men’s Volleyball Tournament, falling 21-25, 26-24, 28-30, 27-29, Saturday at Đại Yên Arena in Quảng Ninh, Vietnam.
Tough is the loss for the Philippines as it figures in a virtual do-or-die against Thailand on Monday. With only three nations competing in Pool B, only two teams will advance to the semis from the group.
Back in the 2019 edition of the tournament, the Philippines defeated Cambodia in straight sets, 29-27, 25-17, and 25-17.
This time around though, the Cambodians revamped their program.
Despite winning the second set, the Filipinos suffered a huge blow after Marck Espejo landed on a Cambodian’s foot.
Though the former Tokyo FC player was able to return late in the third set, he was never the same.
Bryan Bagunas and Jau Umandal carried the fight for the Filipinos in the tight third and fourth sets. Unfortunately, though, crucial errors in the clutch by the Filipinos led to the loss.