TOKYO — The Philippine men’s volleyball team managed to put up a gallant fight and steal a set against FC Tokyo, 22-25, 15-25, 25-21, 18-25, in their tune-up match on Tuesday at the Fukagawa Gym.
Although the Filipino Spikers were forced to commit several unforced errors -- mostly from the service line, national team head coach Dante Alinsunurin was impressed with how his wards showed their might against a Division I team.
"Masaya ako na lumaban kami sa FC Tokyo siyempre kahit papaano Division One yan," said Alinsunurin after the fifth tune-up game of the Rebisco-backed squad.
"Nakita namin yung lapses namin pero kahit papaano positive pa rin kasi nakadikit kami, nakakablock kami," he added. "Yun lang (medyo marami) yung unforced errors namin lalo na sa floor defense namin kasi nung bandang huli talagang ginugulangan na lang kami."
Oita Miyoshi import Bryan Bagunas played his first tune-up for the Philippines, providing the firepower on offense with fellow outside hitter Marck Espejo and opposite spikers Johnvic De Guzman and Ranran Abdilla.
In his first game back after four months, Bagunas is looking to improve his communication with the Nationals, who also banked on setter Joshua Retamar, middle blockers Kim Malabunga and Francis Saura and liberos Jack Kalingking and Ricky Marcos.
"Sa ngayon kulang pa yung communication namin talaga. Nagkakastruggle sa loob ng court," he said. "Pagbutihan lang namin yung service namin tsaka blockings napakaimportante, kasi yung atake naman andyan na yan."
But for the former UAAP MVP it was still a good showing for Philippines going up against a tough Japan V. Premier League, which his mother club will face soon.
"Yun lang siguro yung kulang namin sa tune up namin pero solid talaga," Bagunas said. "Lahat ng teams sa V. League competitive kaya sobrang gandang experience tong tune up namin sa FC Tokyo."
Bagunas has two more days with the team -- on Wednesday's practice and another tune-up against FC Tokyo on Thursday-- before he returns to action as a Weisse Adler over the weekend.