By Kristel Satumbaga
1 p.m. – Singapore vs Thailand (M)
3 p.m. – Vietnam vs Indonesia (M)
6 p.m. – Philippines vs Cambodia (M)
The Philippine men’s volleyball team begins its medal quest in the 30th Southeast Asian Games when competition fires off today at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The Nationals take on Cambodia at 6 p.m. in their bid to open their campaign on a bright note before an expected huge crowd.
The PH spikers are expected to have their hands full in the group stage where they are bracketed in Pool B along with 2017 Kuala Lumpur silver medalist Indonesia and bronze winner Vietnam.
Pool A has perennial champion Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore and Timor Leste.
Defending champion Thais raise the curtain at 1 p.m. when they clash with Singapore at 1 p.m. followed by Vietnam and Indonesia at 3 p.m.
PH team coach Dante Alinsunurin hopes their 11-day training camp in Japan a month ago will pay off to eclipse the country’s sixth-place finish in the previous edition.
The training camp was aimed at improving the team’s cohesion and system.
Brian Bagunas and Johnvic de Guzman spearhead the squad composed of Marck Espejo, Ran Abdilla, Mark Alfafara, Joshua Umandal, Ish Polvorosa, Kim Malabunga, Francis Saura, Rex Intal, Ricky Marck and Jack Kalingking.
After Cambodia, the Nationals collide with Vietnam on Wednesday, then Indonesia on Friday.
Only the Top 2 teams from each group will advance in the semifinals slated Dec. 8 with the championship round scheduled on Dec. 10.
Meanwhile, the celebrated PH women’s volleyball team takes centerstage on Tuesday when they face 2017 bronze winner Vietnam in the round-robin match.
Only four teams are competing in the women’s division also composed of reigning champion Thailand and silver medalist Indonesia.
After Vietnam, the PH volleybelles meet Thailand on Thursday then Indonesia on Saturday.
Tags: #SEAG2019, #SEAGames2019, 30th Southeast Asian Games, Brian Bagunas, Francis Saura, Ish Polvorosa, Jack Kalingking, Johnvic De Guzman, Joshua Umandal, Kim Malabunga, Marck Espejo, Mark Alfafara, Ran Abdilla, Rex Intal, Ricky Marck, SEA Games, volleyball