PHL men’s national volleyball squad sweeps Macau in AVC Challenge Cup debut

Marck Espejo with the attack (AVC photo)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Philippine men’s national volleyball team just began its AVC Challenge Cup campaign on a high note after sweeping Macau, 25-21, 25-15, 25-14, last July 9, 2023, held at the Taipei Gymnasium.

Despite a limited time of training camp due to the late formation of its final roster, the Filipino spikers still put up a convincing outing against Macau and displayed one of its best offensive performances on the international stage.

The returning volleyball superstar Marck Espejo sparked an early PHL squad rally after scoring back-to-back jaw-dropping cross-court kills.

Already familiar with the international style of play due to his numerous Asian import stints during the past five years, the former Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) main gunner was just all over the place against Macau.

After spearheading team PHL’s scoring, Espejo then turned his focus into his middle blocking which became a crucial part of their win when they held Macau to under 16 points in the last two sets.

Also flaunting his skills in PHL’s win against Macau was Filipino-American spiker Ryan Ka. Ka waxed hot midway through the second set and backstopped Espejo in the scoring department.

Aside from his offensive prowess, Ka also provided help in the floor coverage department and tallied several successful digs and receives.

With the win, the Philippines will be advancing to the Final 12 and eliminated Macau from their hopes of playoff qualification in the AVC Challenge Cup.

Up next for the Filipino spikers are the high-flying Mongolian national squad today at 10 AM still to be held in Taipei.