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SEA Games: Coach hails character of PH men's team in loss to Vietnam

by August 22, 2017 General
The Philippine men’s volleyball team. Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Coach Sammy Acaylar had only good words to say about the Philippine men’s volleyball team despite their opening game loss to Vietnam at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games on Monday afternoon at MiTEC’s Hall 11 here.

The Filipinos fought bravely, but succumbed to the net defense of the Vietnam, the silver medalists in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore. They also committed 27 unforced errors in the 19-25, 21-25, 20-25 loss.

“Wala naman akong masabi kasi ginusto naman ng mga players,” Acaylar told reporters after the game. “I know they did their best.”

Indeed, Acaylar believes that his players showed great character as they stayed within striking distance through all three frames, before fading away in the end against the Vietnamese.

“Kahit natalo kami, gusto ko ang character ng mga players natin. Alam naman natin na hindi tayo tulad ng ibang bansa na stable sila, for how many years ang kanilang preparation,” Acaylar pointed out. “Tayo, ilang months lang.”

“But then, nakita ko ‘yung character nila na gusto nilang ipakita sa mga Pilipino na ito tayo, Pilipinas, na nagsisimula na,” he added.

A lack of exposure and a tendency to commit unforced errors – several of which came at the service line – proved to be the Filipinos’ downfall, the coach admitted.

Acaylar believes that the Filipinos’ unforced errors were due to “gigil,” as they were excited to finally compete in the Southeast Asian Games after months of preparation that included a training camp in South Korea.

“Except kay (team captain) Johnvic (de Guzman), lahat ‘yan baguhan sa SEA Games,” Acaylar noted. “So nagkakamali nang nagkakamali.”

“Pero hindi naman nila sinadya ‘yung pagkakamali. Gusto lang talaga nila gumanda ang game, but definitely, pumangit,” he added. “So babawi na lang tayo sa susunod.”

The Filipinos will have a day’s rest on Tuesday before returning to action against Indonesia on Wednesday evening.

“Mayroon namang pagkakataon na bumawi tayo, ‘di ba?” said Acaylar. “So babawi na lang kami.”

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)