May 03, 2023

Umandal, Philippines bow to Indonesia to open SEAG campaign

The Philippine men's volleyball team did not secure the opening victory they had hoped for in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games against defending champions Indonesia. They lost 18-25, 18-25, 23-25 in the event held at the Olympic Stadium Main Hall on Wednesday.

Brazilian coach Sergio Veloso struggled to decipher Indonesia's offensive strategy, but his team put up a valiant effort in the third set, taking the lead for the fourth time, 11-10. However, they could not maintain their momentum.

"Normally, it's the first match, but it's very good with the way we started the third set as the guys continued to show that they can play our system," Veloso said after the game. "I can see in our service in the first and second sets that it worked well."

According to the team's statistics, no Filipino player reached double figures in scoring. Cotabato's Steve Rotter and Joshua Umandal each scored eight points.

"We (hope to) make much better in our service to make a little damage in the attack system of the opponent as well," Veloso said. He added that they would move on from this game and focus on beating host country Cambodia on Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

"Sometimes, we win, and sometimes we just learn the hard way," Veloso added. "We will be better tomorrow. Today's match is finished, and tomorrow is going to be an important match."

The game with Cambodia will determine the fate of the Philippine men's team. A victory will keep their chances of making it to the podium alive.