June 10, 2024

Retamar, Alas eye stronger comeback after 10th place finish in Challenge Cup

Joshua Retamar, the determined setter for Alas Pilipinas, has vowed that the team will return stronger following their 10th-place finish in the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Men.

The Philippines had a challenging start, going winless in the group phase. However, they found their footing with a decisive victory over Indonesia, securing a four-set win (25-23, 23-25, 25-14, 25-22) in the 9th-12th classification match.

This triumph advanced them to the battle for ninth place.

In a hard-fought match against Thailand, led by Khonhan Amornthep, the Filipinos fell short, ending in a four-set defeat (20-25, 25-23, 22-25, 20-25).

This marked the second consecutive time the team finished in 10th place, mirroring their previous tournament result.

Retamar, a three-time Spikers’ Turf Best Setter, acknowledged the team’s lack of preparation but remained optimistic about their future prospects. He emphasized the need for better communication and teamwork.

“We fell short because we had a short time training, [but] we’ll come back stronger,” Retamar stated in an interview with the Bahrain Volleyball Association.

“The level of play here in [the AVC] is good, they’re strong. We [also] need to build our communication, our patterns in blocks.”

The Filipino fans in Bahrain received special gratitude from Retamar for their unwavering support throughout the eight-day tournament.

“First of all, I would like to thank all the Filipinos supporting us. We’re very happy because of the support,” said the former National University star.

Despite a 1-3 record overall, Alas Pilipinas showed promise, holding their own against Asian powerhouses China and Bahrain during the group stage.

And now, they look to build on this heading to the 2024 FIVB World Championship.