JOHNVIC de Guzman and Ranran Abdilla shone brightest as other top spikers made their case for spots in the Philippine volleyball team in the national pool showcase event on Monday at The Arena in San Juan.
De Guzman put on a show proving he was worth the early pick as national team skipper, while Abdilla again displayed the skills that helped the Philippines make a mark in Asian club competition two years ago.
The two led Rajah to a 25-27, 25-23, 25-19, 18-25, 15-9 win over Pilipinas Lakan in the benefit event dubbed Clash of Heroes.
De Guzman, picked team captain well ahead of the announcement of the final lineup, scored 19 points.
Abdilla, star for Philippine team that saw action in the Asian Men's Club Volleyball Championship in 2014 before suffering a knee injury, looked close to top form and added 15 markers.
Dave Cabaron had 13 and Greg Dolor chipped in 11.
National Universty standout Bryan Bagunas finished with 24 points for Lakan.
“I told my players to play their best because they are going to get their slots for this coming training pool for the SEA Games,” said Acaylar.
“Sabi ko lang sa kanila, walang relax, walang bigayan. They have to give their best in this Clash of Heroes,” he added.
It was the final scrimmage before the coaching staff led by head coach Sammy Acaylar reveal the 18-man lineup for the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur in August.
Twenty-four players showed up for the event organized by the PSC-POC Media Group.
“Sobrang satisfied ako as a team captain kasi makikita natin ‘yung puso ng bawat isa na gustong manalo and ialay ang sarili nila for the national team talaga,” said De Guzman, a former NCAA MVP out of College of St. Benilde.
The exhibition match also served as a fund-raising event for the team’s training in Korea and Japan in July.
Ateneo’s Marck Espejo and Ish Polvorosa, Cignal players Peter Torres, Mark Alfafara, Bonjomar Castel, Herschel Ramos, Erikson Ramos, Lorenzo Capate and Anjo Pertierra did not show up.
Acaylar said they were already out of the pool.