Male spikers savor Asiad experience

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HANGZHOU—The men’s national volleyball team may not be leaving an indelible mark in the 19th Asian Games but are more than satisfied that its players were able to score one victory on top of their return to the quadrennial games after more than four decades.

Bryan Bagunas and Marck Espejo expressed their fulfillment of being part of the team that played in the Asian Games for the first time after 49 years.

They hoped for a continuous program for the men’s team, adding that goals are achievable with constant training and overseas exposure.

“Hopefully, the program continues, it mustn’t end,” said Bagunas, the 25-year-old spiker out of National University. “And we hope that we get to see more action overseas.”

Espejo said: “We’re super thankful of the opportunity and chance to represent the Philippines here in the Asian Games. I hope this goes on and on.”

The stint was the first for the men’s volleyball team since the 1974 Tehran Games.

The Filipinos—send here through the Philippine National Volleyball Federation, made the most out of it by finishing with a 1-2 record in their group.

They posted a 25-23, 25-16, 25-12 win over Afghanistan that kept them in the running for a playoffs berth, but they lost to Japan in their final game, 25-19, 25-14, 25-23, at the Deqing Sports Centre Gymnasium to formally bow out of contention.

The Philippine team lost its opening game against Indonesia, 25-22, 25-23, 25-20. Still Bagunas was proud of the way the team competed.

The team flies home on Saturday.

Image credits: Nonie Reyes (CANON EOS R6)

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