REBISCO Philippines kissed its semifinal bid goodbye after absorbing a 19-25, 15-25 19-25 rout at the hands of Qatar’s Al Arabi in the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship on Sunday at Terminal 21 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
Brazilian hitter Felipe Bandero was nearly unstoppable in both attacking and from the service line as a tall and experienced Qataris, with an average height of 6-foot-5, simply overpowered the Filipino spikers.
Middle blockers Mohamed Ibrahim and Kennedy Chigbo formed a formidable frontline as Al Arabi secured its second Pool B win in as many as games to tie Sirjan Foolad in the race for the two semifinal berths in the five-team bracket.
The Philippine men’s volleyball team bombed out of contention after a third straight losses. It will try to avoid a last-place finish in their group in a game against Thai club Diamond Food on Monday at 4:30 pm (Philippine time).
Umandal shows way
Jao Umandal, Rebisco’s leading scorer in the first two games, once again led the stand against the Qataris. He poured in 17 points built on 15 kills, one ace and a block for the men’s national team.
Bandero fired 12 attacks, six aces and three kill blocks to finish with 21 points for the multi-titled Qatari sports club.
Renan Ribeiro chipped in nine points, while team captain Jumah Faraj and middle blockers Ibrahim and Chigbo added seven markers each.
Al Arabi didn’t even field Konstantin Cupkovic, who erupted for 24 points in their first match, but it still dominated Rebisco in the service line with a 10-1 differential in aces, in attacking (38-31) and blocking (10-5).
Middle blocker JP Bugaoan shone in his first start with seven markers. Skipper John Vic De Guzman added five in place of Nico Almendras, who didn’t play after starting in the first two matches.
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