Bagunas shines in Oita Miyoshi season opening win

FILIPINO volleyball star Bryan Bagunas shone as Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler won its first game of the V.League 2021 to 2022 Men’s Division 1 season, defeating Osaka Blazers Sakai in four sets, 25-19, 25-20, 21-25 and 28-26, at the Nippon Steel Sakai Gymnasium on Saturday.

The 6-foot-5 Bagunas poured 22 points in the contest, built on four blocks and a service ace. Emerson Rodriguez backstopped him with 19 points on 18 attacks and one service ace.

Kota Yomada produced 16 points on 12 attacks and four service aces while Ichitoshi Hayashi chipped in seven markers in the match that lasted for 2 hours and 6 minutes.

After a Sakai Blazers point that put the team within set point in the fourth frame, Bagunas’ squad scored three straight points to finish the match and take the first of Oita Miyoshi’s back-to-back matches.

Sharone Vernon-Evans paced the home team, Sakai Blazers, with 20 markers on 16 attacks, three blocks and one service ace. Yuki Higuchi provided 12 points on eight attacks, three blocks and one service ace.

Bagunas and the Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler team face the Osaka Blazers Sakai anew on Sunday at 12 p.m.

Meanwhile, another Pinoy import, Mark Espejo, also played splendidly during his return to the V.League when the 6-foot-3 player unloaded 15 points on 13 attacks and two service aces.

However, his production was not enough as his team, FC Tokyo, bowed to the defending champion, Suntory Sunbirds, in five sets, 24-26, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21 and 11-15.

Over at the women’s side, Filipino middle blocker Jaja Santiago came out triumphant as the Saitama Ageo Medics outlasted the Okayama Seagulls, 28-30, 26-24, 23-25, 25-13 and 15-11.

Playing the whole match, the 6-foot-5 Santiago put up 17 points to support Yuka Sato, who led Saitama with 40 huge points on 38 attacks, one block and one service ace.


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