The Philippine men’s volleyball national team is off to a great start after dismantling Cambodia in straight-set fashion, 29-27, 25-17, 25-17, Monday in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
The Nationals carved out a hard-earned first set victory to set their rhythm in the next frames and pick up their debut win in Pool B.
Cambodia gave the host a hard time in the tight opening frame before the Philippines erased a four-point deficit, 16-14, riding on the heroics of Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas.
— ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) December 2, 2019
With the visiting hitters fighting back down the extension, Joshua Retamar came up with a slick drop and a block to complete the set steal for the home team.
It was a different story from that point forward as the Pinoy spikers found their groove at the net, forging a 16-9 advantage before sealing the second set with back-to-back rejections on the Cambodians and pushing for a 23-16 lead in the third.
Espejo led all scorers with 21 markers built on 16 kills, four aces and a block as Bagunas chimed 14.
Philippines put up a block party against Cambodia for win #1 in the #SEAGames2019 men's vball tournament.
— Antoine (@anton_FOXPH) December 2, 2019
Philippines dominated in blocks tallying 17 big denials, of which six came from Retamar.
Retamar’s 15 excellent sets also paved way for the Nationals’ 37 attacks while he also had three of the team’s total nine aces.
Voeum Veasna dropped 16 hits for Cambodia on a losing effort.
Up next for the men’s spikers is Vietnam on December 4 at 6 p.m.