Bagunas, Espejo bring volley acts overseas
Bagunas, Espejo bring volley acts overseas
John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - December 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — After giving their hearts out in front of their countrymen leading to a historic 30th SEA Games silver-medal finish, it’s time for the amazing Filipino spikers to fly the flag higher overseas as Bryan Bagunas and Marck Espejo are all set for international volleyball league stints.

Two of the country’s bests today, the high-flying volleyball players take their acts outside the country with Bagunas returning to his mother club in Japan and Espejo joining a Thai squad starting next week.

“It’s an honor to leave the country for the meantime with a silver medal from the 30th SEA Games. It’s something that no one can could ever take away from me. It will be etched in my heart and mind forever,” said Bagunas before departing for Japan yesterday to reunite with his club Oita Miyoshi in the Japan V. Premier League.

The multiple UAAP champion Bagunas had had a limited training time with his teammates due to his Japanese club commitments even at the thick of their 16-day training camp there.

But that did not stop his heart and desire to spearhead the Nationals’ historic run highlighted by his upset-clinching kill in the Philippines’ heart-stopping five-setter win over reigning five-time champion Thailand in the semifinals.

That feat alone, which catapulted them to the country’s first finals appearance in 42 years and eventual silver-medal finish, should serve as motivation not only for his international volleyball career but for the Phl men’s team’s program as a whole.

“There’s no stopping us. We’re looking forward to more experience, time and tournaments together. We’re also hoping for more support in a mission to bring the Philippine men’s volleyball to far greater heights,” said Bagunas after the loss to eventual champion Indonesia.

The five-time UAAP MVP Espejo, likewise, is brimming with pride when he represents the country in Thailand for the Visakha volleyball club starting Dec. 15.

“It may be a silver but it feels like gold for us,” said Espejo. “And I will be taking this gold-like silver when flying the Philippine flag overseas.”

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