PH spikers rarin' for explosive start today

The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 08 2014 09:47 AM | Updated as of Apr 08 2014 07:04 PM

Philippine coach Francis Vicente answers questions from the media at the press conference for the Asian Men's Club Volleyball Championship held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati on Monday. Photo by Mark Cristino for

MANILA, Philippines - Coming off a two-week training in Seoul, South Korea, the Philippines PLDT Home Tvolution tries to make an impressive start as it takes on Mongolia in today’s start of the PLDT Home Fibr 2014 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championships at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.

“We’ve learned a lot in our training in Korea and we hope to use it in this tournament,” said Phl coach Francis Vicente in yesterday’s media briefing at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati City.

The Filipinos will next face Iraq South Gas Club Sports on April 10, also at the MOA Arena, with a sweep of their first two games sending them straight to the next round.

Vicente knows how important a win over Mongolia is.

“It’s practically do-or-die each and every game,” said Vicente, whose wards got a favorable draw in Group A with Mongolia, Iraq and Kuwait, which withdrew at the last minute leaving the group with just three teams.

Phl team captain Christian Fernandez said chemistry will be a key factor in their campaign.

“We just need to play as a team and in harmony for us to have a chance in this tournament,” said Fernandez.

Aussies Cedric Legrand and William Robert Lewis will reinforce the Nationals, who also boast of former national fencer, shooter and rower Richard Gomez.

The rest of the PLDT Home TVolution-bankrolled team – JP Torres, Ronjay Galang, Jeffrey Malabanan, Alnakaran Abdilla, Jason Ramos and Rodolfo Labrador – are all geared up to do battle in this field that drew participation from a record 18 countries, the biggest international volleyball tournament in the land in years.

The other brackets are Iran, Japan, Lebanon and Vietnam in Group B, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Oman, Hong Kong and Turkmenistan in Group C and the United Arab Emirates, India, Papua New Guinea and Chinese Taipei in Group D.