By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
MANILA — Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas will lead the way for the Philippine men’s volleyball team during the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games on Nov. 28-Dec. 10 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
Espejo and Bagunas, arguably the two best local spikers right now, are expected to carry the offensive load for the Dante Alinsunurin-mentored squad.
Espejo will be making a national team return after having to sit out the 2017 edition of the biennial meet in Kuala Lumpur due to his academic duties at Ateneo.
But now that he is a full-fledged pro, there is no stopping Espejo, who once set a University Athletic Association of the Philippines record of 55 points for the Blue Eagles in one game.
On the other hand, Bagunas, who currently plays pro ball in Japan, is expected to be home by Nov. 25, just in time for the start of the tournament.
Rounding the spikers crew for the Philippine team are Spikers’ Turf veterans John Vic De Guzman, who is tapped as the skipper of the squad, Mark Alfafara and Joshua Umandal of PLDT, and Ran Abadilla of Air Force.
Meanwhile, Cignal’s Ish Polvorosa, Air Force’s Jessie Lopez, and National University’s Joshua Retamar will take turns in playing the setter role.
Air Force’s Kim Malabunga and Francis Saura and Cignal’s Rex Intal will man the middle, while NU’s Ricky Marcos and Navy’s Jack Kalingking will be the team liberos. (PNA)