THE Philippine men’s beach volleyball team beat Lebanon in three matches on Jaron Requinton and Jude Garcia's 21-16, 21-17 win over Joe El Azzi and Paul Bou Akl to stay in contention in the AVC Continental Cup semifinals on Friday in Nakhom Pathom, Thailand.
Requinton of Philippines 1 and Garcia of Team 2 joined forces in the deciding match and beat the Lebanese pair to keep their Olympic hopes alive. They set a duel against Australia at 4 p.m. (Philippine time).
“Yung Lebanon hindi bumitaw agad. Pukpukan talaga yung laban kanina sa golden match. Palakasan na lang talaga ng pride. Pusong Pinoy mananalo talaga tayo,” said Requinton shortly after the game.
Philippine Team 1 Requinton and James Buytrago put up a gallant stand but got swept by Lebanon’s Team 1 El Azzi and Jean Abi Chedid, 19-21, 19-21.
Garcia and Anthony Arbasto of Philippines 2 forced a golden match after fighting back from 10-14 deficit in the third set for a 21-16, 18-21, 18-16 win over Bou Akl and Salba Chafic.
The winner of Philippines and Australia match battles Japan, which swept Kazakhstan in their semis series, on Saturday for the lone final round berth.
It was the first win of the Philippine men’s beach volleyball team since its bronze medal run in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
The Filipino Spikers managed to start their Continental Cup campaign on a high note despite coming off a year-long inactivity amid the pandemic and only having a three-week training camp in Ilocos Norte.
Japan 1’s Yoshiumi Hasegawa and Takumi Takahashi beat Kazakhstan 1’s Dmitriy Yakovlev and Sergey Bogatu, 21-15, 23-25, 15-8.
Kensuke Shoji and Masato Kurasaka completed the sweep on Kazakhstan 2’s Alexey Sidorenko and Kirill Gurin with a 19-21, 21-19, 18-16 victory.
Requinton and Garcia squandered a 14-10 lead in the second set as El Azzi and Paul Bou Akl fought back to tie it at 17-all. The Filipino spikers nailed two attacks in a row to regain the upper hand before the Lebanese committed back-to-back errors.
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