Photo courtesy of Tiebreaker Times

THE Philippines displayed a thrilling performance, securing a hard-fought 22-25, 25-21, 26-24, 23-25, 15-12 victory over Mongolia on Monday. This triumph allowed them to sweep Pool D of the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Challenge Men’s Cup at the University of Taipei Hall in Taiwan.

Marck Espejo, Steven Rotter, and Ryan Ka showcased their powerful hits, combining forces in the fifth set to overpower the Mongolian team. With a flawless 2-0 win-loss record, the Philippine squad, led by Ramon “Tats” Suzara of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation, secured a spot in the knockout final 12 stage, commencing on Wednesday.

Espejo delivered an outstanding performance, tallying an impressive 36 points with 29 kills, five service points, and two blocks.

The Filipinos continued their dominance by sweeping Macau with a convincing scoreline of 25-21, 25-15, 25-14 last Sunday.

Mongolia concluded the elimination round with a 1-1 record, while Macau remained winless.

Suzara extended his congratulations to the team, acknowledging the efforts of Brazilian coach Sergio Veloso. He also emphasized the importance of maintaining their momentum in this highly competitive tournament, featuring 15 Asian nations.

The Philippines now advances to the playoff round, joining host Taiwan, Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, India, Vietnam, and Bahrain. They will be joined by either Saudi Arabia or Thailand, who have yet to complete their pool play.