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    Espejo, De Guzman, Abdilla show way as PH volley team beats Rissho University

    Nov 16, 2019
    PHOTO: Lance Agcaoili

    TOKYO — Marck Espejo, Johnvic De Guzman and Ranran Abdilla showed the way as the Philippine national volleyball team dominated Rissho University, 25-13, 25-20, 25-20, on Friday at the Shinagawa Gym.

    Despite coming off a long day from a morning workout at Hotel Route-Inn Sagamihara to a short trip at Odawara Castle — a two-hour drive from the venue, the Nationals still made short work of the Japanese collegiate squad.

    Oita Miyoshi import Bryan Bagunas has left the Philippine team but Marck Espejo, Johnvic De Guzman and Ranran Abdilla were too much for Rissho University, leading the team to its second victory in seven tune-up games.

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    “Nakuha namin yung gusto naming mangyari. Although siyempre may konting pagod pa rin kaya ako nagaalangan ako kung tutuloy tuloy ko yung laro nila pero sila mismo nagsabi na kaya pa nila,” said coach Dante Alinsunurin, whose wards bowed to FC Tokyo on Thursday.

    “Nagkataon lang din na medyo mas lamang kami ngayon at nakakaadjust kami sa ginagawa nila,” he added.

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      The Philippines also leaned on its net defense behind middle blockers Kim Malabunga and Francis Saura and setter Joshua Retamar, while liberos Ricky Marcos and Jack Kalingking also played fine.

      Alinsunurin also fielded backups Rex Intal and Ish Polvorosa in the third set, where the Nationals started with a 6-9 deficit until getting their act together to lead by 17-12.

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      The Nationals will have last two tune-up games facing Chuo University and Nippon Sports Science University.

      Their 16-day Japan training camp will be capped by three more team practices before returning to the Philippines on Nov. 22.

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      PHOTO: Lance Agcaoili
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