The Philippine Men's National Volleyball Team faced a tightly contested first set before asserting their dominance over Afghanistan in the subsequent two sets.
This secured them a notable 25-23, 25-16, 25-12 victory, marking a breakthrough win during the 19th Asian Games, held on Wednesday afternoon at the Deqing Sports Centre Gymnasium in China.
This significant triumph propelled the Philippines to an even 1-1 win-loss record in Group F, keeping their hopes of making it to the Final 12 alive.
In the initial set, Afghanistan threatened a comeback, narrowing the score to 24-21 after Sayed Yousufi executed consecutive blocks on Steven Rotter. However, Bryan Bagunas sealed the deal for the Philippines with a decisive and powerful hit.
Building on this momentum, the Filipino Spikers surged to a commanding 17-11 lead in the second set, paving the way for a decisive victory and moving a set closer to sweeping Afghanistan with a score of 25-16.
The Philippines continued their onslaught in the third set, securing a resounding 25-12 victory and concluding the game in a brisk 66 minutes.
Head coach Sergio Veloso stuck with the same lineup that performed in their previous match against Indonesia, fielding Bagunas, Rotter, and Jau Umandal as wing spikers; Kim Malabunga and Lloyd Josafat as middle blockers; and Vince Mangulabnan as the setter.
The Filipino squad is now gearing up to face their most formidable opponent to date, as they are set to take on the powerhouse team of Japan tomorrow at 7 p.m. This match will determine their fate in the next round of the competition.