Rebisco PH celebrates a point against Sri Lanka’s CEB team in their classification round match Wednesday in the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship in Thailand. The Filipinos won in five sets to settle for ninth place. (Photo from AVC)


Rebisco Philippines finally savored the sweet taste of success in the 2021 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship by defeating Sri Lanka’s CEB team, 25-14, 22-25, 25-18, 21-25, 15-11, Wednesday night in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

It was the Filipino spikers’ lone victory in the tournament to settle for ninth place in the 10-team affair.

Rebisco slowly built its momentum at the start of the pivotal fifth set that started after taking a 5-3 lead and hanging tough in the face of Sri Lankans’ persistent challenge to close out their campaign on a winning note.

A miscue play briefly gave life to CEB as it cut its deficit, 13-11, but a service error proved to be crucial to give Rebisco the match point advantage.

Jao Umandal sealed the win for the Filipinos with an off-the-block spike.

Overall, the Filipinos did the best they could with only a month of preparation against their more experienced rivals.

They finished the group stage winless in four matches in Pool B and almost won that last preliminary match against Thailand’s Diamond Food in a five-set thriller.

Their other losses were inflicted by Iran’s Foolad Sirjan, Qatar’s Al-Arabi and Uzbekistan’s AGMK.

Foolad Sirjan and Al-Arabi eventually advanced to the semifinals after topping their group with 4-0 and 3-1 win-loss cards. They face hometown squad Nakhon Ratchasima QminC and Kazakhstan’s Burevestnik Almaty, respectively.

The tournament stakes a lone berth to the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championships at a still undetermined date and venue.

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