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    Dream realized as Jau Umandal becomes third Filipino to play overseas

    Jan 14, 2022
    Jau Umandal airport
    Mary Ann Umandal takes a photo of her son as he leaves for Bahrain.
    PHOTO: Mary Ann Umandal

    BECOMING the third Philippine men’s volleyball team player of this generation to play overseas is a dream come true for Jau Umandal.

    Dream come true of Jau Umandal

    Following in the footsteps of Filipino imports Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas, the 22-year-old spiker flew to Bahrain on Friday to serve as import for Bani Jamra in the Isa bin Rashid Volleyball League for two months.

    “Sobrang honored na maging import dahil matagal kona din pangarap na makapag laro sa ibang bansa. Nasimulan na po ng mga kuya ko, masaya po akong sumunod sa mga karera nila,” Umandal said.

    The University of Santo Tomas standout was honored that his breakout performance for the Philippine men’s volleyball team in last year’s Asian Men’s Club Championship paved the way for his first overseas stint.

    “Sobrang saya ko dahil nag bunga lahat ng sacrifice namin sa bubble during AVC namin. Nakakatuwa po na may nakapansin,” said Umandal, who stepped up big time in the absence on Bagunas and Espejo in the AVC tournament.

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    The breakout star, who becomes the second import of the club after Espejo, is tempering expectations as he heads to the gulf area coming from another layoff due to quarantine restrictions but he vowed to give his best and make the country proud.

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    “Mahirap mag expect ng sobra dahil paudlot udlot ang ensayo ko dito sa atin dahil sa pandemic pero gagawin ko lahat ng best ko pagdating doon and lahat ng makakaya ko para makapag perfom ng maayos sa Bahrain para masuklian yung tiwala na binigay nila sa Pinoy,” he said.

    “Bitbit ko pa rin naman ang Pilipinas habang naglalaro doon.”

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      Umandal’s ultimate goal is to open more opportunities for Filipino volleyball players to play abroad like him, Espejo and Bagunas.

      “Maging daan po sana ulit ito para mas lalo pang mabigyan ng suporta ang Men's Volleyball sa Pilipinas, kung nagagawa po sa mga iba’t ibang bansa sa Asia,” Umandal said. “Naniniwala po ako at nagdadasal na dadating din ang panahon na yun sa atin.”

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      Mary Ann Umandal takes a photo of her son as he leaves for Bahrain.
      PHOTO: Mary Ann Umandal
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