Rebisco out of semis contention after losing to Al-Arabi in Asian Men's Club tilt

Rebisco PH's Joshua Retamar (4) and Kim Malabunga (6) attempt a double block against Al-Arabi's Jumah Faraj in their preliminary match Sunday. (Photo from AVC)

Rebisco Philippines absorbed a tough 25-19, 25-15, 25-19 beating from Al-Arabi of Qatar to kiss its title bid goodbye in the 2021 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship Sunday night in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

The Filipinos mustered all their might but still fell short against their burlier rivals as they skidded to their third defeat in as many outings with one match left in the preliminaries.

Al-Arabi, for its part, clinched its second straight victory to tie with Foolad Sirjan of Iran in Pool B.

Only the top two teams from each five-team group will advance to the semifinals while the rest will be relegated to the classification phase.

Brazilian player Felipe Bandero bannered Al-Arabi with 21 points built on 12 points, three blocks and six aces, while Renan Ribeiro and skipper Jumah Faraj combined for 16 points including 14 attacks.

Jao Umandal, meanwhile, was the lone double-digit scorer for Rebisco with 17 points while John Paul Bugaoan and John Vic De Guzman had seven and five points.

The Filipino spikers struggled with their serve in the opening set with five service errors as Al-Arabi attacked the net from all angles.

Rebisco briefly regained its composure in the second frame with combination plays spearheaded by Jao Umandal, but the Al-Arabi quickly pulled away from a 9-all tie to 19-12 behind the offensive efforts of Brazilian Felipe Bandero.

The Qatari squad continued to pummel the PH crew’s weak reception in the third frame to lead 12-5 for good.

Al-Arabi dominated Rebisco on all fronts by firing more attacks, 38-31, and posting more blocks, 10-5. The Qataris also unloaded 10 aces against one from the Filipinos.

Rebisco faces Diamond Food of Thailand Monday for its last match in the preliminaries before competing in the classification stage.