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Jao Umandal: Binigay ko lang ang best ko

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Joshua “Jao” Umandal refused to dwell with the notion of being the next star in the Philippine men’s volleyball team behind Bryan Bagunas and Marck Espejo.

According to Umandal, it was the teamwork among members of the Rebisco-Philippines that can be credited for his strong showing in the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship in Thailand.

“Kung ano po ang maitutulong ko, ibibigay ko pero lagi kami nagtitiwala po sa coaches dahil sila ang mas may alam,” said the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Spikers star.

“Wala man po si Marck at Bryan alam namin at ramdam namin na kahit nasaan sila nakasuporta pa din po sila sa amin at sa team,” he added.

The 22-year-old Umandal averaged 19.4 points in five matches, capping that performance with his tournament-best 28 points in a 25-14, 22-25, 25-18, 21-25, 15-11 victory over Sri Lanka’s CEB Sports Club on Wednesday.

“Lahat kami leader, lahat kami pantay-pantay, simula sa coaches hanggang sa pinakabatang player,” Umandal said.

“Lagi lang namin iniisip na maglalaro kami for the team at hindi para sa sarili namin. Tiwala kami sa isa’t isa at yun ang importante,” he added.