THE Philippine men’s volleyball team took down a tough Cambodia side, 29-27, 25-17, 25-17, to kick off its 30th Southeast Asian Games campaign on a high note on Monday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas provided the firepower while 19-year-old setter Joshua Retamar was a revelation with his blocking and clutch plays as the hosts put away their first assignment in Pool B.
Espejo unleashed 21 points off 16 kills, four aces and a block to go with eight excellent receptions and three digs while Bagunas, who just arrived from Japan, had 14 points in a thriller that lasted an hour and 24 minutes.
The 19-year-old Retamar, a SEA games first-timer, delivered 15 excellent sets and finished with 11 points. He also provided six of the team’s 17 kill blocks to put his team in the early Pool B lead in a tie with Indonesia.
Philippines continues its medal quest against 2017 SEA Games bronze medalist Vietnam on Wednesday at 6 pm.
Voeum Veasna led Cambodia with 16 points, while My Raksmey and Pin Sarun had nine points each.