Home Sports Alas Pilipinas men shoot for strong AVC ending

Alas Pilipinas men shoot for strong AVC ending


Alas Pilipinas men's team celebrates a point against Indonesia in the AVC Challenge Cup for Men 2024.

Alas Pilipinas men’s team celebrates a point against Indonesia in the AVC Challenge Cup for Men 2024. –AVC PHOTO

Sergio Veloso continues to hold his head high along with Alas Pilipinas in the Asian Volleyball Confederation Challenge Cup.

Alas landed a breakthrough win, 25-23, 23-25, 25-14, 25-22, Wednesday night (Manila time) against the under-20 Indonesia side in Manama, Bahrain.

The Filipinos will try to finish their campaign strong and fight Thailand, which handed Chinese-Taipei a 25-17, 25-15, 25-20 beating later in the night, for a slightly better finish last year at tenth place on Friday at 7 p.m. (Manila time).

“I push my team to give 100/110 percent all the time,” Veloso told the Inquirer through chat. “They must have a strong mind and enjoy the game. When they achieve this, they play with quality.”

Alas failed to qualify to the semifinal round after straight-sets losses against China and host Bahrain in the preliminaries, but delivered its best performance opposite the young Indonesia crew.

Skipper Marck Espejo carried the Nationals behind his 20-point performance from 17 attacks, two aces and a block while reigning UAAP Rookie of the Year Jade Disquitado of National University powered through with 12 points from nine attacks and three blocks.

Middle blocker Kim Malabunga had six out of Alas’ 15 total blocks to end up with 12 points.

Missing defense

That defense was missing from the Filipinos when they battled China and Bahrain, and in an error-filled second set against Indonesia, where well-timed adjustments helped secure the win.

“The changes were positive and our defensive system worked very well. It was an excellent victory and all players had the opportunity to take the court,” Veloso said.

Bulldog hitter Nico Almendras also had 10 points with his collegiate teammate Owa Retamar orchestrating Alas’ offense.

“They are very happy not only for the victory but also for having played well,” Veloso added as the Filipinos look to be even better in their final game and lessen their 24 errors.

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“Our service will be important. We need to cause problems with the opponent’s receive,” Veloso said. “And keep the same focus in [sticking to] our system.”

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