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PH spikers hold off Cambodia for opening win in SEAG

By Ricky Manliguis

MANILA—The Philippine men’s volleyball team opened its Southeast Asian Games campaign on a high as it warded off a stubborn Cambodia, 29-27, 25-17, 25-17, Monday night at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

After a tight first set, the Pinoy spikers banked on its prowess in blockings cuopled with the offensive firepower led by Marck Espejo for a winning start in Pool B of the biennial meet.

Espejo, the former four-time UAAP MVP, fired 21 points spiked on 16 attacks,four aces, and a kill block. Bryan Bagunas had 14 points.

But the night belonged to SEAG first-timer  setter Joshua Retamar, who scored 11 points-- six of them blocks-- while having 15 excellent sets.

The Philippines denied the Cambodian offensive 17 times, including eight in the second set.

The boys of coach Dante Alinsunurin will next meet 2017 silver medal winners Vietnam on Wednesday. They are hoping to improve on its fifth-place finish in the 2017 edition of the games in Kuala Lumpur.

Voeum Veasna led Cambodia with 16 points, even as  My Raksmey and Pin Sarun had nine points each.

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