MANILA, Philippines – Marck Espejo was not satisfied with his performance at the Asian Games, but he praised his teammates for contributing to the Philippine men’s volleyball team’s short but fruitful campaign in Hangzhou, China.
Espejo scored a total of just 22 points in three matches with shorter playing time, admitting his late arrival affected his performance in the Philippines’ first entry into Asian men’s volleyball in 49 years.
“I’m not satisfied with my performance since I lost the team. I’m from Korea and when I came here I felt like I lost my connection with the team and the familiarity,” Espejo said after scoring eight points in their 19-25, 14-25, 23-25 loss to Japan. Thursday at the Deqing Sports Center Gymnasium.
(I’m not satisfied with my performance because I wasn’t part of the team. I was in Korea before coming here and I think I lost my connection and familiarity with the team.)
The Incheon Korean Air Jumbos joined the national team from South Korea on Sunday in preparation for the season. He had limited preparation with the team, but he remained proud of his teammates, led by Bryan Bagunas, Steve Rotter and Jau Umandal.
“I’m proud of this team because when I somehow got lost, something changed in the performance,” Espejo said.
(I am proud of this team because I saw improvement in performance.)
Although they were not facing Japan’s top players, who won bronze in the Volleyball Nations League, Ateneo’s five-time UAAP MVP still enjoyed their experience playing against the world number 5.
“I hope that even if we say this is the Japanese B team, Japan is Japan and although the skills are far away, I know the time will come when I hope we can somehow keep pace with the high international teams,” Espejo said.
(Even though we faced Japanese Team B, Japan is Japan and while we are still not on par with their skills, I know the time will come when we can go toe-to-toe against top international teams.)
Despite his struggles, Espejo takes with him the lessons and honors he gained from representing the country at the Asian Games as he flies to South Korea – his fourth overseas stint after playing in Japan, Thailand and Bahrain.
“We are super grateful to have been given the opportunity and opportunity to represent Philippine men’s volleyball here at the Asian Games and I hope it will continue for years to come,” Espejo said.
(I am very grateful that we have the opportunity to represent Philippine Men’s Volleyball here in the Asian Games and I hope this will continue for years to come.)
Espejo will debut next month as the only Filipino men’s volleyball player to play in the Korean V-League.