BRYAN Bagunas will have to cut short his celebration of the impressive silver-medal finish of the Philippine men’s volleyball team in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Bagunas has to fly back to Japan on Wednesday morning as his mother club Oita Miyoshi faces FC Tokyo in a home game on Sunday.
“Bukas na agad. Babalik na kaagad ako bukas ng umaga kasi important game namin this weekend kasi home game,” said Bagunas, who had 11 points in their three-set loss to Indonesia in the gold medal match on Tuesday at the Philsports Arena.
“Kailangan ako bumalik agad sa Japan para makasama rin sila at makapag-training,” he added.
Though he won’t be able to cherish his silver medal with his teammates and family for a longer time in the country, the National University standout will be bringing this precious moment as he continues the life of an overseas volleyball player.
“Siyempre aalis ako na proud sa sarili kasi ayun, nakapagbigay kami ng medal dito sa Pilipinas dahil sa volleyball,” he said. “Siguro habang buhay na 'to sa akin. Talagang nakatatak na 'to sa puso't isipan ko.”
Bagunas arrived last November 30 and only had one practice to the squad before their group stage campaign started.
The 6-foot-3 open spiker averaged 19.6 points in five games and immortalized himself with his heroic 27-point performance in their miracle five-set win over Thailand in the semifinals that clinched this silver medal.
As leaves and finish his campaign until next year, Bagunas couldn’t be more proud with the historic mark that the men’s volleyball team made.
Bagunas just hopes that when he comes back this team will continue to get exposure in the international scene and most importantly, the men’s volleyball profile in the country will be higher.
“Nakagawa kami ng history dito Philippine men's volleyball team,” Bagunas said. “Sana magtuluy-tuloy lang itong samahan namin. Sana 'yung suporta magtuluy-tuloy para mas malayo marating ng Philippine men's volleyball team.”