After missing the medal rounds, the Philippines men’s volleyball team vented its ire on Malaysia to advance to the battle for fifth place in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
The men’s team made quick work of the Malaysian squad, 25-12, 25-13, 25-12, at the Dai Yen Arena on Wednesday to score its first win in the biennial meet.
The Philippines opened the match strong as it established a 19-9 separation in the first set. Marck Espejo widened the gap further with a powerful hit followed by a back-to-back spike from Johnvic de Guzman to get a 1-0 lead.
They continued their impressive performance in the second frame with a 5-1 start.
A Rex Intal block stretched the lead into double digits, 14-4, and went as far as 23-11 after a backrow hit of Bryan Bagunas and another denial from Intal.
Malaysia tried to keep up in the third set, trailing 7-10 off a backrow attack. But the Philippines pulled away in the middle of the set after a couple of aces from Jao Umandal, 16-10.
Nico Almendras gave his team a 23-11 advantage before Umandal powered a spike from the back, 25-12.
The Philippines, the silver medalist in the 2019 Games, will face Myanmar in the battle for fifth place.