Bryan Bagunas’ masterful performance leads team to Taiwan Top League title
MANILA, Philippines—Bryan Bagunas exploded for 42 points as his club Win Streak earned its maiden Taiwan Top League crown, dethroning Pingtung Taipower, 19-25, 25-20, 18-25, 25-21, 15-12, in a do-or-die Finals Game 3 on Monday evening at Taiwan University Gymnasium.
Playing in three consecutive days, Bagunas showed no signs of fatigue as he played his heart out and unloaded 39 attacks, two blocks, and an ace to will his team back from a 1-2 match deficit and take down the seven-time league winner.
In the most important game of his Taiwan stint, the Philippine men’s volleyball team star tied his career-high 42 points last year when he was still playing for Oita Miyoshi in Japan V.League
The 6-foot-5 outside Bagunas became the first Philippine men’s volleyball team member to capture a title overseas and the second Filipino of this era to become a champion after Jaja Santiago helped the Saitama Ageo Medics to win in Japan V.Cup in 2021.
Bagunas poured in 37 points in Game 1 as Win Streak edged the Tai Power in five sets, 32-30, 17-25, 25-15, 27-29, 15-9, on Saturday.
However in Game 2, the 25-year-old Filipino’s 21-point effort wasn’t enough to complete a series sweep as they fell to Pingtung, 15-25, 15-25, 25-22, 21-25.
Win Streak emerged as the regular season champion with a season-best 16-3 record, winning 10 straight games in the second half of the preliminary round.
Bagunas scored 520 points in the regular season, nailing 453 attacks, 40 blocks, and 27 aces.
Due to his ongoing Finals series in Taiwan, the former UAAP MVP out of National University didn’t make it for Imus-Ivy Tuason Photography in the 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference.
Imus lost two of its three matches in the semifinal round and will face Iloilo in a battle for third series on Wednesday at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
Bagunas also begged off from playing for the men’s national team in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in May in Cambodia due to his wedding preparations with longtime partner Nicole Tracy Tan.
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