Photo from AVC

Rebisco PH failed to sustain its fiery start and bowed to AGMK of Uzbekistan, 24-26, 25-23, 25-18, 25-19, Saturday in the 2021 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Champion in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

It was the second straight defeat in as many outings for the Filipino spikers after yielding to Foolad Sirjan of Iran, 25-15, 25-22, 25-5, Friday.

AGMK, meanwhile, evened its win-loss tally to 1-1 in the five-team Pool B, which stakes the top two slots of each pool to the semifinals.

Rebisco set the tone in the opening set anchored on its offensive strength to gain the 14-11 upperhand before the Uzbeks retaliated and tied it at 22-all.

The Filipino spikers continued to lean on their attacks with Angelo Almendras’s off-the-block spike putting the squad at set point advantage.

The Uzbeks tried to answer back but an attack went wide to give the Filipinos the set victory.

AGMK, however, refused to be intimidated and rose to the challenge in the next three sets despite the resilient attempts of Rebisco PH.

The Filipinos actually led early in the fourth frame, 9-6, but the Uzbeks regained their rhythm with an improved net defense and a more aggressive offense for a 19-15 lead for good.

Joshua Umandal topscored for the Filipinos with 19 points, all from attacks, while Almendras chipped in 14 points on 12 kills and two blocks.

Four players, meanwhile, scored in double figures for AGMK with Bunyod Egamkulov and Bunyodbek Khosinov firing 18 points apiece, and Azbibek Kuchkorov and Sanjar Akhtamov adding 15 and 11 points.

The Uzbeks displayed rock-solid net defense with 13 blocks against Rebisco Ph’s six, and unloading more aces, 7-3. 

Offensively, it was a close fight with AGMK only leading by one attack point, 55-54.

The Filipinos will next face Al-Arabi of Qatar on Sunday to keep their semis bid afloat.