Seasoned aces Bryan Bagunas and Marck Espejo reunite to lead the Philippines’ homestand in the second leg of the inaugural Southeast Asia Volleyball League today at the City of Santa Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Laguna.
The wingers mark their first tournament together in more than a year as they make a lethal troika with national team rising star Steve Rotter to banner the Filipinos against powerhouse Thailand in the main event at 7 p.m.
Clashing at 4 p.m. are Vietnam and Indonesia.
The Nationals are looking to rebound from a winless outing in the first leg last week in Jakarta, Indonesia.
National squad Brazilian coach Sergio Veloso expects a better showing this time with Espejo and Bagunas, who both skipped the opening leg, and first leg Best Opposite Spiker winner Rotter onboard.
“They’re experienced players. They’re smart. They can share their experiences with others,” said national men’s team head coach Sergio Veloso as his wards brace for their SEA neighbors anew.
“We can make a stronger job. I feel we can play better now.”
Bagunas will play his first tournament with the national team since the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam last year.
The Filipino spikers went winless in three games in Jakarta but not without a fight, especially in the last match where they held a 2-0 lead against Vietnam only to run out of steam in a tough five-setter defeat.
Indonesia, led by MVP Fahry Septian Putratama, completed an unbeaten run to become the first leg champion with Thailand and Vietnam completing the podium.