(UPDATED) Rebisco Philippines escaped the gritty Sri Lankan team CEB Sports Club in a marathon five sets to end the 2021 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship on a winning note in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
The Philippine contingent kept its composure in the deciding set to win over the Sri Lankans, 25-14, 22-25, 25-18, 21-25, 15-11, on Wednesday and finished the 10-team league at ninth place.
Rebisco appeared to have taken full control of the match after an impressive third-set performance where they were not threatened from the start.
Jao Umandal scored back-to-back hits for a 23-17 advantage in the third before Francis Saura ended it via a quick hit.
But the Philippine team slowed down in the fourth and found themselves at a 17-23 hole before Nico Almendras sparked a 4-1 run down the stretch to save several set points, 21-24. Sri Lanka, however, halted the rally of Rebisco to force a decider.
In the fifth set, Rebisco held on to their two-point lead until Umandal drilled powerful attacks anew followed by a hit from team captain Johnvic de Guzman for a 12-8 separation.
CEB Sports Club then committed an error to put the Philippines at match point.
The Philippines dropped to the 9th-10th classification match after losing all its four matches in the preliminary round.