Asian Games: PH falters vs Indonesia in men's volleyball

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 19 2023 08:56 PM | Updated as of Sep 19 2023 10:27 PM

Handout/PNVF-AVC.
Handout/PNVF-AVC.

(UPDATED) The Philippine men's volleyball team dropped their opening game against neighbor Indonesia to start their 19th Asian Games bid in Hangzhou, China Tuesday. 

The Philippine team suffered a 22-25, 23-25, 20-25, beating at the hands of Indonesians for a 0-1 start in Pool F of the men's competition that also features powerhouse Japan. 

Veteran and national team mainstay Bryan Bagunas steered the country with 17 points on 16 attacks and a block. 

No other Filipino scored in double digits as Steven Rotter and Marck Espejo were limited to just nine and eight points, respectively. 

It was a balanced scoring on the other side of the net, though, as Agil Angga Anggara leading Indonesia with 11 points.

Fahri Putratama and Doni Haryono had 10 points apiece for their first win in the preliminary.

Tied at 18 in the second frame, Philippines got a two-point breather in the ensuing plays after an attack by Espejo followed by a block of Kim Malabunga, 20-18.

However, they allowed the Indonesians to regroup resulting in a 23-21 reversal. Espejo saved one set point off a spike but Hernanda Zulfi capped the set with an off-the-block spike for a 2-0 commanding lead. 

Indonesia did not look back in the third set as they tightened their grip on the lead, erecting a 20-16 gap after a Haryono’s attack. 

Bagunas scored an ace in an attempt to spark a comeback from the Philippines, 19-22, but Anggara and the team’s error put the opponent at match point.

Zulfi finished the game in just three sets through an attack off the blocker’s hand. 

The Philippines will try to bounce back on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. against Afghanistan.