Alas Pilipinas men’s squad wraps up AVC campaign with 10th-place finish

It was a good run, Alas Pilipinas! (AVC)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Alas Pilipinas men’s national volleyball team concluded its AVC Challenge Cup bid with a 10th-place finish on June 7, 2024, at the Isa Sport City Hall in Bahrain.

Alas bowed to last year’s AVC champion Thailand during the classification round duel, 20-25, 25-23, 22-25, 20-25, and replicated their campaign last year when they also settled for 10th place.

Despite the loss, the national team held their heads high after keeping the game against the heavy favorites close in all four sets.

After suffering a five-point loss in the first set, the Filipinos battled back with a sense of urgency in the following period and were able to hand Thailand a huge stunner when they snatched the second frame.

Huge momentum-shifting plays from Marck Espejo and Kim Malabunga propelled Alas to an equalizing win in the second set backstopped by the firepower support from Owa Retamar.

With the game now tied at 1-1, Alas stuck to their game plan and crowded the middle area with their blockers but Thailand adjusted well and started to vary their set plays that caught the PHL off guard.

From a middle-oriented attack in the first two sets, the Thais mixed things up in the last two sets and fired from all cylinders.

May it be from the backline or the sidelines, Thailand showcased its blazing attack on the Filipinos and was able to survive a scare when they swept the last two sets.

It was still a good outing for the Filipinos after keeping the game in a nip-and-tuck affair, but only fell short when their unforced errors kept on piling up in the most crucial stretches of the game.

Jade Disquitado gave Thailand a final performance to remember after leading the way with 14 big points derived from 12 successful attacks.

Meanwhile, Noel Kampton, one of the country’s UAAP stars, only played in the fourth set but was able to provide a spark after chipping in six points.

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