The Philippine men's volleyball team after its first win in the 31st SEA Games. PNVF PHOTO

The Philippine men’s volleyball team after its first win in the 31st SEA Games. PNVF PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine men’s volleyball dominated Malaysia, 25-12, 25-13, 25-12, to finally enter the win column and advance to the battle for fifth place in the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Wednesday at the Dai Yen Arena in Vietnam. 

Licking the wounds of their preliminary round exit, Bryan Bagunas and Marck Espejo led the balanced attack of the Filipino Spikers to stop their two-game skid.

The men’s national team, who failed to sustain its silver medal in the 2019 Games, takes on Myanmar in the battle for fifth place on Friday.

National team coach Dante Alinsunurin had the luxury to field his other players as team captain John Vic De Guzman, Nico Almendras and Rex Intal.

Jau Umandal was also instrumental as the team bounced back from heartbreaking losses to Cambodia and Thailand.

The Filipino Spikers dominated the Malaysians right from the get go with a 19-9 start before De Guzman put on the finishing touches in the first set.

The Philippines mounted a 14-4 spread in the second set and stretched the lead to 12 points, 23-11, before Bagunas’ attack and Intal’s block gave the team a two-set lead.

Almendras and Umandal closed out the third set to deliver the Philippine men’s volleyball team’s first win.

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