THE men’s national volleyball team yielded to Thai Air Force, 25-20, 18-25, 21-25, 18-25, losing its first game in the Group A of the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championships on Friday at the V Sommai Gymnasium in Sisaket.
The Philippines failed to sustain its rousing first-set victory as the Thailand League Champion Air Force showed its strong form in the remainder of the match.
The Pinoy Spikers had no answer to Air Force’s championship poise in the crucial parts of the second and third set taking the 2-1 match advantage but the Nationals took control early in the fourth frame building a 13-9 lead from Bryan Bagunas’s hit.
Air Force, however, unleashed seven straight unanswered points to turn the tables with a 16-13 lead. Philippines kept it close to two-point game with Kim Malabunga hitting a running attack, 17-19 but the Thais pulled away with a 22-17 spread before Johnvic De Guzman stopped the bleeding.
Thai-Malian Kissada Nilsawai delivered the finishing touches with a block on De Guzman and a strong hit to reach match point, 24-18, before Pusit Phonarin nailed the game-winning spike.
Philippines battles the Fine Chef Phitsanulok on Saturday at 12 noon (Manila time).