Big leap for PHL volleyball


THE Philippine men’s team quietly but strongly pulled off a major accomplishment by leapfrogging 111 notches from No. 167 down in the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) world rankings to No. 56 following two victories at the ongoing Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Challenge Cup for Men in Taipei.

“This is one big, major achievement for our men’s indoor volleyball team,” Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Ramon “Tats” Suzara said on Wednesday.

“This is by far the most significant accomplishment by our men’s team and the PNVF just under three years into its establishment as the national federation,” Suzara added.

The Philippines is one of only three of the 222 FIVB member nations which made a major stride in the world rankings. Macau jumped from No. 165 to No. 58 and Mongolia from No 164 to No. 59 with both countries also competing in Taiwan.

The national men’s team currently vying in Taipei is composed of Vincent Raphael Mangulabanan, Noel Michael Kampton, Kim Harold Dayandante, Vince Patrick Lorenzo, Ryan Andrew Banez, Kim Malabunga, Jayvee Sumagaysay, Steve Charles Rotter, Adrian Villados, John Vic de Guzman, Joshua Umandal, Edward Camposano, Bryan Bagunas, Marck Jesus Espejo, Rex Emmanuel Intal, Madzlan Gampong, Lloyd Josafat, Cyrus de Guzman, Manual Sumanguid III and Chumason Celestine Njigha.

The team is led by PNVF director Rod Roque and handled by Brazilian head coach Sergio Veloso and deputy coaches Odjie Mamon and Rommel Abella with team manager Jerome Guhit, strength and conditioning coach Melchidedek Samonte and statistician Mark Gil Alfafara. The PNVF also sent FIVB referee Janus Dumaran to Taiwan.

The nationals beat Macau, 25-21, 25-15, 25-14, last Sunday and Mongolia, 22-25, 25-21, 26-24, 23-25, 15-12, on Monday to reach the final 12 of the AVc Challenge Cup for Men at the University of Taipei Hall.

The Filipinos went on to give powerhouse Bahrain a scare before yielding, 25-20, 25-17, 25-23, at the resumption of play on Wednesday morning.

Also competing in Taiwan are the host country, Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, India, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.

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