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    PH men’s spikers get reality check as FC Tokyo shows true form

    Nov 14, 2019
    PHOTO: lance agcaoili

    TOKYO — The Philippine men’s volleyball team got swept by FC Tokyo, 21-25, 12-25, 20-25, 15-25, in their second tune-up battle on Thursday at the Fukagawa Gym.

    Unlike in their first meeting two days ago, where they salvaged a set, the Rebisco-backed squad failed to win a single frame as the Division I squad vaunted its lethal attacks and agility to dominate their friendly, especially the last three sets.

    Bryan Bagunas played his last tune-up match of his four-day stay with the Nationals, failing to sustain their strong showing against FC Tokyo last Tuesday.

    But for the Oita Miyoshi import, he maximized his short stint in the 16-day training camp, made possible by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. and Philippine Sports Commission.

    “For me naman okay naman nakakasabay naman kami kaso nga lang kulang pa sa communication iba rin tong kalaban namin division one ito,” said Bagunas, who will return to his mother club on Friday morning. “Lumalaban din naman nakikita ko. Madidiskarte lang din kasi sila kaya nahirapan kami sa blockings.”

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    The Filipino Spikers, bannered by new starters Bagunas, Marck Espejo, Johnvic De Guzman, Kim Malabunga, Rex Intal and Ish Polvorosa, showed a great start in the first set leading as much as 20-18 only for FC Tokyo to score seven unanswered points to steal the opening frame.

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    “Kanina kasi talagang nagfocus kami sa opensa namin. Nagkataon lang na medyo yung receive namin pumalpak,” said National team head coach Dante Alinsunurin. “Kahit papaano naman, kahit mabilis silang gumalaw, nakakasunod pa rin ka at may natutunan kami sa game na yun.”

    Alinsunurin also tested the composure of reserve Fauzi Ismail, second stringer Joshua Umandal and previous game starters Ranran Abdilla, Francis Saura and Joshua Retamar.

    “Ngayong training camp kailangan mo rin tignan kung sinong pepwede pa ipasok, kung sino yung buo yung loob talaga. Maganda rin yung naexperience nila kahit papaano nakadikit sila,” he said.

    The Philippines will play its last three of its nine tune-up matches against Collegiate teams facing Rissho University on Friday, Chuo University on Saturday and Nippon Sports Science University on Sunday.

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    PHOTO: lance agcaoili
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