Rebisco outlasts CEB, ends AVC Clubs at ninth place

October 14 ------ Rebisco ended its 2021 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship campaign in ninth place after a classic five-setter win against CEB Sports Club of Sri Lanka, 25-14, 22-25, 25-18, 21-25, 15-11, Wednesday at Terminal 21 Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

Jao Umandal once again came through for the Philippine side, dropping 28 points off 20 attacks, five blocks, and three aces, as his efforts finally resulted in a huge victory. John Vic De Guzman and Nico Almendras also contributed off the bench with 11 points apiece, only playing from third set onwards. Blocking was a department Rebisco dominated with Kim Malabunga and Francis Saura combining for 10 of 19 blocks as they finished with 10 points each. Sanka Dilshan Jayarathna and Vidura Perera carried the fight for the winless CEB with 18 and 17 points, respectively.

Needing just two points to clinch ninth place, Rebisco got help from the Sri Lankan club as they committed an error before Umandal ended the match with a down-the-line kill, 15-11. Three straight kills from the Filipinos pumped some life in their fourth period, 21-24, but a crosscourt hit from CEB sent the game to a decider, 25-21. Rebisco did not waste any time bouncing back in the third canto, zooming to a 7-2 advantage before running away completely, 25-18, to move a set away from the win.

Trailing 20-21 in the second salvo, the Sri Lankans netted four straight points to reach set point, but a quick kill from Kim Malabunga halted that run, before Mahanthi’s off-the-block kill to equalize, 25-22. After a close 3-4 start in the first frame, Rebisco pulled away with a 12-4 run capped by three straight hits by Umandal before ultimately taking a 1-0 lead, 25-14.